West Bank, 8 Shaban 1436/26 May 2015 (MINA) – Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki has dismissed reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had expressed “willingness” to resume negotiations with the Palestinians to reach understandings about the borders of settlements in the occupied West Bank.
“The Israeli government is an extremist right-wing government that was formed on the basis of total rejection of any talks that might lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state,” Al-Maliki told Palestinian radio.
He went on to accuse Netanyahu of embracing a “policy of lies”, with which he would try to convince the international community that his government is distant from remarks he and other ministers made about their refusal to stop settlement building or withdraw from occupied Palestinian territories. Middle East Monitor (MEMO) reports as quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).
“He just wants to buy time and get out of the international isolation he imposed on himself by his recent remarks,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Israeli daily Haaretz quoted an unnamed senior official as saying that Netanyahu told EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini last week that he wanted to resume negotiations with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu expressed his willingness to reach understandings on the borders of the settlement blocs in the West Bank that would be annexed by Israel in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians, according to the source.
The paper said this is the first time Netanyahu has expressed his willingness to reach an agreement about settlements’ borders.
Peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators ground to a halt a year ago following Israel’s refusal to release a group of Palestinian prisoners despite earlier pledges to do so. (T/P002/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)