[Tuesday at night July 16 2013] Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, held a meeting with U.S Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Amman – Jordan.Palestinian Presidency spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rodeina, stated that the two leaders held an extended meeting, and discussed different issues that could help create a positive atmosphere for restarting direct peace talks between Ramallah and Tel Aviv.
Abu Rodeina added that Abbas reiterated the Palestinian stances regarding resuming direct peace talks, including the legitimate right to establish an independent and contiguous Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital.
On his part, Kerry told Abbas that the United States is committed to the two-state solution, ensuring two states coexisting in peace.
President Abbas will be holding a meeting with senior Palestinian Authority leaders to discuss details of his meeting with Kerry.
Israeli sources have reported that, during his earlier visit to the region, Kerry threatened that the U.S. would cut aid to the Palestinian Authority should it fail to return to the negotiations table with Tel Aviv.
Israel claims that the Palestinians are not interested in resuming direct talks with Tel Aviv, and accuses them of placing preconditions.
The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank said that direct peace talks cannot be resumed while Israel continues its violations, including its ongoing illegal settlement construction and expansion activities in the occupied West Bank, including in occupied East Jerusalem.
Among various issues that are obstructing direct talks are Israel’s refusal to recognize the internationally guaranteed Right of Return of the Palestinian Refugees, its illegal settlement activities, the withdrawal from occupied East Jerusalem as well as all territories captured by Israel in 1967, the release of political prisoners, natural resources and borders.