Abbas backtracks on concessions for talks

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: "I watched President Abbas' interview over the weekend. I have heard that he has already managed to go back on his remarks. This only proves the importance of direct negotiations without pre-conditions. But if he is serious, I am ready to sit down with him immediately.” Friday night, Mahmoud Abbas said in an Israeli Channel 2 TV interview that he would not demand the right to live in his birth town of Safed (which is in Israel proper) and viewed a Palestinian state as existing only in the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem its capital. “Everything else is Israel,” he said. But after a chorus of Arab and Palestinian criticism, the Palestinian leader told the Arabic Al-Hayat newspaper Saturday that he spoke for himself and not about Palestinian Authority policy.

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