Palestinians Demand U.S. Participation in Talks

YERUSHALAYIM -

Palestinians complained Thursday that the United States has failed to take an active enough part in the new round of peace talks, The Jerusalem Post reported.

U.S. envoy Martin Indyk and his aides have not so far participated in negotiating sessions between Israel and the Palestinians, even though they promised they would do so, senior Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo charged.

Abed Rabbo was quoted by official Palestinian news agency WAFA as blaming the Israelis for the Americans standing aside, adding that “this is one sign of how and where the talks are heading if the U.S. is not able now to assert itself in the peace process.”

Abed Rabbo also reiterated Palestinian threats that continued Israeli building activities could lead to a rupture of the talks.

Meanwhile, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was in Moscow on Thursday, where he met with Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov.

Lavrov urged Israel and the Palestinians to rebuild trust. “We understand that you are only at the very start. We want the resumed talks to assume stability,” AFP quoted him as saying.