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PFLP rejects return to negotiations

July 29, 2013 5:51 P.M. (Updated: July 31, 2013 10:45 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (AFP) -- The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine rejected new peace talks with Israel just hours before their scheduled resumption in Washington on Monday after a three-year break.

The leftist PFLP, a major faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said that talks' resumption was a unilateral move by President Mahmoud Abbas which did not have the backing of the PLO as a whole.

"The PFLP is against a return to negotiations," said one of the party's leaders, Khalida Jarrar.

"It is an individual move," she said, in allusion to Abbas.

"These talks will be presided over by the United States, just like Oslo 20 years ago," she said of the negotiations that led up to the 1993 accords for limited self-rule.

"We went to the UN precisely to take our case out of US hands."

The last was a reference to the PLO's successful bid for upgraded status at the United Nations last November, which was strongly opposed by both Israel and the United States.

Washington was to host preliminary talks later on Monday between PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and his Israeli counterpart, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

The last round of direct negotiations between the two sides broke down in September 2010 just weeks after they started.

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited the region six times in as many months to broker the resumption of negotiations.

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