Palestinian-Israel peace talks 'going around in empty circles'

Sept. 4, 2013 at 9:27 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have made no progress after five rounds of negotiations, a senior Palestinian negotiator said Wednesday.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, said "So far, there are no signs at all that these negotiations have achieved any progress," the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Speaking on Voice of Palestine, Rabbo said Israel's continued construction of settlements on the West Bank "destroy every opportunity" for a possible agreement.

The "foundation of the whole process" was flawed from the start of the talks, he said, because Israel did not commit to ending the settlements.

"We are just going around in empty circles," Rabbo said. He added he did not expect to see any change in Israel's position without pressure from the United States.

The talks got underway in July after three months of mediation by the United States. They are expected to end within nine months.

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