Abbas Was Notified That The U.S. Abandoned Negotiations With Israel on Settlement Freeze Extention
Mahmoud Abbas received the letter while visiting the capital of Greece, Athens.
Palestinian Authorities announced that the response to the American letter will be formulated only after a consultation with the leaders of the Arab League.
According to a PA spokesman, phone talks have already been engaged between Abbas and Amr Moussa, Arab League leader, on the latest American actions and the response the Palestinians must provide.
On Tuesday night the U.S. announced that any talks with Israel regarding the renewal of the settlement freeze have been abandoned, and that following consultations with Israel it has been determined that a new settlement moratorium would not be a basis for a framework agreement.
An U.S. official said that in the days to come the Palestinian and Israeli authorities will be invited to Washington to discuss the situation. Other leaders of the neighboring countries will also be called to talk about “core substantive issues.”
It was not clear whether these would be direct talks, but the American official was very careful in ascribing blame for the failure of these talks to none of the sides involved.
The notification comes a month after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had agreed upon a 90-day moratorium in exchange for an interesting package U.S. would give Israel.
Israel and Palestinian Authority had two rounds of direct talks in September, the first in Washington, and the second in Sharm el-Sheikh, in Egypt.
In spite of the skepticism of most of Israelis and Palestinians, things seemed to be moving into the right direction, until September 26, when the 10-month moratorium on settlement building expired.
As soon as constructions were resumed in the area President Abbas asked the Arab League for guidance, and was advised to revert to indirect talks.
Several alternative projects were put on the table but they did not pay off.
Thus, Netanyahu promised a controlled resumption of settlement building, avoiding the places that would have been indicated as important by the Palestinians.
When Palestinians refused that, the plan of building nearby the border with Israel was advanced, but then the Palestinians required a map of the future state of Palestine to make sure the buildings that were constructed now would fall within the future borders of Israel.
As Israel took some hard-line measures like the citizenship oath, and the ban for Israeli Arabs to practice as tour guides in East Jerusalem, the Palestinians called for the right to return to their lands that are now in Israel of those who were sent in exile.
In spite of the efforts of the U.S. to find a way to bring the parts back to the negotiation table, the idea of unilaterally proclaiming a State of Palestine came up.
Israel and the U.S. urged the Palestinians not to do so, reminding them that according to the previous negotiations between Israel and Palestinians the problems can be settled only by talks.
On Sunday, Brazil was the first to recognize the new state, and Argentina followed suit the next day, with a perspective that other countries in Latin America do the same thing in the near future.
Abbas visited Turkey earlier this week and asked the Muslim country to convince European countries and Canada to recognize the new state.
Israel expressed disappointment at the recognition of the country by the Latin American countries.11