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Palestinian official hints at accepting direct talks



A Palestinian official on Sunday hinted at accepting U.S. demands to start direct peace talks with Israel.
"We don't rule out any possibility or form of negotiations," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
However, Abed Rabbo stressed that Washington should present guarantees that the direct discussions would lead to an agreement. "These negotiations should not be taking place in vicious circle."
Israel and the Palestinians started four-month indirect negotiations in May.
Abed Rabbo said, "it is not the Palestinians who evade from negotiations," accusing Israel of "rejecting to recognize a reference to the peace process and continues building settlements. "
The settlement activities on occupied Palestinian territories are the reason that prevents the direct negotiations from restarting since they stopped in 2008.
The proximity talks aim at bridging the gaps between the two sides by brokering an agreement on the borders of the future Palestinian statehood and related security issues.
The Palestinians say the indirect talks could not make any progress so far. As a result, Washington is pressing for face-to- face negotiations.
"The Palestinian side doesn't want to start new risks or take any step that may leave negative effects on the peace process," Abed Rabbo justified, adding that U.S. guarantees are needed before moving to any phase.