Abbas wants international border force

YNet News (Link) - AP & Ali Waked (July 17, 2010)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he�ll resume direct peace talks if Israel accepts its 1967 frontier as a baseline for the borders of a Palestinian state and agrees to the deployment of an international force there.

Meanwhile, Fatah has rejected a request by US Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell to restart direct negotiations with Israel, Fatah PR chief Mohammed Dahlan said Saturday.

Israel has not accepted the PA�s demands on security and border issues and therefore there is no reason for direct talks to resume, Dahlan said.

Notably, Fatah�s stance does not necessarily reflect the PA�s official position. Abbas is under growing pressure from the United States to resume negotiations, and met with Mitchell Saturday.

�Borders must be on �67 basis�

Abbas� latest comments, published Saturday in the Jordanian newspaper al-Ghad, hinted at some flexibility. The Palestinian leader did not mention a comprehensive Israeli settlement freeze as a condition for negotiations - something he has underlined as crucial in the past.

�We have put forward to the Israelis our position on different final status issues, and especially on borders and security,� Abbas told the Jordanian newspaper. �We have said that the borders need to be on a 1967 basis, with agreement on land swaps equal in value and size, and we gave our vision regarding security, which was agreed on previously, in Olmert�s days.�

He said the Israelis need to recognize these propositions as acceptable, in principle.

�If they agree, we will consider that progress ... and this would prompt us to go to direct negotiations,� he said.