RAMALLAH, August 22, 2013 (WAFA) – The American team to the peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel did not so far take any part in the negotiations, secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Abed Rabbo, said Thursday.
“The Americans did not participate in any negotiating session so far in spite of assurances that they will play a direct role,” he told Voice of Palestine radio.
Three rounds of peace talks have been held so far, one in Washington and two in Jerusalem, since the two sides agreed at the end of July to resume negotiations after three years of no talks.
US Secretary of State John Kerry appointed veteran diplomat Martin Indyk to be a special envoy to the peace talks. Indyk was in Jerusalem during the talks but apparently he did sit in on them.
Abed Rabbo said the Americans did not participate in the talks “due to an Israeli stance and demand,” adding that “this is one sign of how and where the talks are heading if the US is not able now to assert itself in the peace process.”
He said this is only one of the problems, among many others, in the ongoing peace talks.
The PLO official warned that the recent large scale Israeli settlement activity is “very dangerous to the future of the peace process.”
He said the negotiations are going to lose any credibility due to this activity because Israel will be looked at as using the negotiations as a political cover for its settlements.
“The negotiations will end up with a disastrous outcome without any real alternatives if the settlements continue along with negotiations,” said Abed Rabbo, adding that “the situation on the ground does not show any positive signs so far.”