Palestinians protest against Israel talks

AFP , Saturday 14 Jan 2012

Dozens of Palestinians protest in the West Bank on Saturday against a third 'exploratory' meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Jordan

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators have met twice already in Amman, on January 3 and 10, with the third meeting set for Saturday. The mostly young protesters gathered outside the Ramallah headquarters of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, hoisting banners denouncing the talks, an AFP journalist reported.

The meetings -- pushed for by the Middle East Quartet made up of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States -- are aimed at reviving full peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which have been stalled since September 2010.

Demonstrators, assembled under the name "Palestinians for dignity," dismissed the talks as "futile" in a statement. "The Palestinian negotiators made a mistake in returning to the negotiating table on January 3 and 10, betting on the same process that failed for two decades," the statement said.

On Thursday, Abbas said the "exploratory meetings" had not established a basis for full peace talks. The Quartet has set January 26 as a deadline for the two sides to submit comprehensive proposals on borders and security that could serve as a foundation for future talks.

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