[Saturday January 4, 2014] Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Dr. Saeb Erekat, said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas, and presented certain ideas, not initiatives, to advance direct political talks.The Abbas-Kerry meeting, the twenty-first meeting since February 2013, took place on Saturday evening.
“We are trying our best to boost talks, to achieve the two-state solution”, Erekat said, “But we cannot accept transitional solutions, or endless negotiations”.

Erekat also said that ending the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the establishment of a contiguous and sovereign state, with East Jerusalem as its capitol, is a top priority for the Palestinians.

The Palestinian official further stated that Kerry only presented ideas for a solution, and is discussing those ideas in separate meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Erekat added that Kerry will be back in the Middle East, in the coming days, in order to separately discuss the obstacles which are hindering the progress of political talks between Tel Aviv and Ramallah.

“We still have a very long and hard road ahead”, Erekat said, “We told Kerry Israel needs to stop its settlement activities, stop the arrests, the destruction of homes and property, the illegal annexation of the Jordan Valley, and various issues that are impacting political talks”.

The official concluded by stating that, ‘as President Abbas said, we are conducting maximum efforts to ensure the success of talks’.

He added that “a successful resolution means ending the Israeli occupation, and establishing an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capitol.”

There are numerous obstacles hindering the success of political talks between Ramallah and Tel Aviv, mainly Israel’s ongoing and illegal construction and expansion of its settlements in the occupied West Bank, and in occupied Jerusalem, its illegal Apartheid Wall which separates the Palestinians from each other and their lands, in addition to Israel’s ongoing invasions and arrests.

Tel Aviv also insists on maintaining its control over the Jordan Valley, borders, and all natural resources, and refuses to recognize the internationally guaranteed Right of Return of all displaced refugees.