RAMALLAH, Sept. 6 (Saba) -- The Palestinians' participation in peace talks with Israel depends on the Israeli government's decision when a 10-month moratorium on Jewish settlement in the West Bank ends later this month, President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday, according to Xinhua.
If Israel "extended the settlement freeze, we will continue the negotiations, and if it did not, we will go out from the talks," the Ramallah-based al-Ayyam newspaper quoted Abbas as saying.
Washington announced the resumption of the direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on Sept. 2 in ceremonies which were attended by Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian leaders.
Abbas said that he informed U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) will continue the negotiations until seeing how Israel is going to work when the ultimatum ends on Sept. 26.
By accepting a U.S. invitation to resume the negotiations, the Palestinian leadership has given up a principle that it had declared since 2008: no talks without commitment to freeze settlement.
The Palestinians hope to reach a framework agreement with Israel within a year. The framework deal would involve all outstanding issues that, if settled, would make a Palestinian statehood alongside Israel a viable fact.
Abbas said the issues of security and borders would be the first topics in the discussions. "Borders are our priorities and security is their (Israel) priority," Abbas said.
He explained that if agreement was achieved on the borders, other key issues including the status of Jerusalem, settlement blocs and water would be automatically resolved.