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Palestinian delegation to deliver letter to Netanyahu

April 4, 2012 12:48 P.M. (Updated: April 5, 2012 11:51 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A delegation of Palestinian officials will deliver a letter from President Mahmoud Abbas to Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu next week, a presidential adviser said.

Nimr Hammad said PA Prime Minster Salam Fayyad, PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo and negotiator Saeb Erekat will head the delegation, Hammad told the official Voice of Palestine radio.

In the letter, Abbas will outline the PLO's position on the peace process and remind the Israeli government of previous accords and international agreements, Hammad said.

He added that Abbas would restate the PLO's position that it will not negotiate with Israel while it builds Jewish-only settlements on occupied land which would be a Palestinian state in a peace agreement.

Netanyahu will reply to Abbas demanding he returns to negotiations without preconditions, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Wednesday.

A senior Israeli official told Haaretz that Netanyahu will stress that Abbas must recognize Israel as a Jewish state and agree to security arrangements in any peace agreement.

The official said Netanyahu would finalize his response once he receives Abbas' letter.

The last round of direct peace negotiations collapsed in September 2010 when Netanyahu refused to extend a partial freeze on illegal settlement building.

Israeli and PLO envoys held five meetings in Amman in January, but the preliminary talks failed to yield full scale negotiations.
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