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Fatah government demands Kerry plan changes

US State Department announces ‘no current plans for resumption of negotiations’ between Israel and Palestine, while in Ramallah Fatah asks for changes to Kerry plan thrashed out in Amman

AFP , Thursday 18 Jul 2013
Abbas, Kerry, Peres
John Kerry shakes hands with Israeli President Peres, left, and Palestinian President Abbas (Photo: Reuters)
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Palestinians demanded Thursday that changes be made to US Secretary of State John Kerry's Middle East peace plan, following a meeting in Ramallah, an official said.

"Fatah wants to make some alterations to Kerry's plan ... because the proposed ideas are not encouraging for a return to negotiations," a top official of the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said.

"The [Fatah] Central Committee is demanding, for a return to talks ... that Kerry announce they should be based on the 1967 lines," said Amin Maqbul, secretary general of the ruling Fatah movement's Revolutionary Council.

The vote came after two rounds of intensive talks between Kerry and Abbas Tuesday and Wednesday, in which they thrashed out the plan.

It was the top US diplomat's sixth visit to the region in as many months to try to broker a compromise formula to allow a resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after a three-year hiatus.

Israel had rejected Palestinian demands for a publicly declared freeze to all settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories as a condition to resume talks, and Abbas and his negotiating team had referred those terms to the Palestinian political leadership.

The rejection by the leadership of Abbas's own Fatah movement of the blueprint meant that its planned referral to the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which also includes dissident factions, was unlikely to go ahead.

On the other hand, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in Amman that, "There are currently no plans for an announcement for the resumption of negotiations."

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