Abbas Not Interested in U.S. Peace Conference

[Jerusalem Post] Khaled Abu Toameh - Mahmoud Abbas and his top aides in Ramallah are no longer interested in attending the U.S.-sponsored peace conference in November. The shift in the PA's position is largely attributed to Abbas' failure to persuade the majority of the Arab countries to take part. The Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians and Qataris are said to have informed Abbas that they see no point in attending under the current circumstances, especially in light of the ongoing power struggle between Hamas and Fatah. Abbas does not want to repeat the "mistake" of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, who went to the Camp David meeting in 2000 without the backing of his Arab brethren. Abbas also knows that any deal he brings back will be severely criticized by Hamas and many other Palestinians, who will accuse him of succumbing to American and Israeli pressure.

2007-09-20 01:00:00

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