Middle East

Abbas moots cancelling Oslo Accords: PLO official

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) shakes hands with Congress-led UPA government chairperson, Sonia Gandhi (C) as general secretary of the Congress party Rahul Gandhi looks on during a meeting in New Delhi on September 12, 2012. (AFP PHOTO)

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: President Mahmud Abbas proposed cancelling the Oslo Accords with Israel at a weekend meeting of the Palestinian leadership, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) told AFP on Tuesday.

PLO Executive Committee member Wassel Abu Yusef said Abbas raised the idea of "cancelling the Oslo agreement as well as the associated economic and security arrangements," at the meeting on Saturday and Sunday.

Abu Yusef said that "members of the Palestinian leadership had mixed opinions on the issue, and it was decided to postpone any decision until their next meeting," due to be held after Abbas's return from the UN General Assembly later this month.

"It was the first time the Palestinian leadership put the issue of the Oslo agreement on the table since it was signed in 1993," Abu Yusef added.

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority -- faced with social unrest over price rises -- asked Israel for talks on amending the Paris Protocol, the 1994 agreement that governs economic ties between the two sides.

Abu Yusef added that the Palestinian leadership also discussed holding presidential and parliamentary elections "in the light of Hamas's refusal to complete Palestinian reconciliation."

Gaza's Hamas rulers and Abbas's Fatah movement signed a reconcilation deal early last year that was supposed to have paved the way for the long-dealed elections to be held in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

But bickering over the implementation of the agreement has hampered any progress towards going ahead with the elections across the two territories.

Abu Yusef said no agreement had been reached among the Palestinian leadership on that issue either and it too will be discussed further after Abbas's return from New York.





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