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News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.


Abbas accuses Barak of sabotaging the negotiations

Tuesday March 11, 2008 12:54 by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News

Palestinian Media sources reported on Tuesday that the Palestinian president accused the Israeli Defense Minister Ehod Barak of attempting to foil the peace process and sabotage negotiations.

Abbas added that Barak's attempts are due to a personal argument between him and the Israeli minister. President Abbas did not explain the argument.

Regarding the negotiations, Abbas said that talks of final Status are ongoing with the Israelis but are not going forward.

The Palestinian Israeli negotiations were reinstated last November during the US backed Annapolis conference. In January, Palestinians and Israelis, agreed to start the talks of Final Status, which include Jerusalem, refugees, political detainees and borders.

President Abbas halted talks with Israel two weeks ago after the Israeli army attacked Gaza and killed at least 125 Palestinians in five days. Rice last week met with Abbas, and he agreed to start the talks with Israel again.

On the issue of the Rafah crossing, which is the only way for Palestinians to get in or out of Gaza, Abbas said that there is an agreement between Israel and Egypt to reopen this crossing, but the agreement will be finalized next week.

For the issue of the Arab summit set to take place in Syria on the end of march, Abbas hinted that he may not take part in the summit.

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