Benjamin Netanyahu Denies Reports Mahmoud Abbas Offered Direct Talks 3 Times

TEL AVIV (JTA) — A spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas offered to begin secret, direct talks with Netanyahu three times.

Gershon Baskin, who has acted as a conduit between the Netanyahu government and Palestinian leadership, told JTA Monday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas offered three times to begin secret, direct negotiations with Netanyahu. Each time, Baskin said, Netanyahu has refused. Baskin said he personally delivered the requests over the past three years.

“Netanyahu is paying lip service to the public and the world, because Abbas has offered Netanyahu on three opportunities a request to enter into secret, direct negotiations,” Baskin told JTA. On Tuesday, Baskin told JTA, “There are at least three times I know of, because I sent the messages for Abbas.”

In a statement to JTA Tuesday, Netanyahu spokesman David Keyes flatly denied Baskin’s claim.

“There is no truth whatsoever to the claim that President Abbas offered to begin secret direct talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu,” Keyes said. “Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to call on President Abbas to meet anytime, anywhere, without pre-conditions. Unfortunately, President Abbas has refused.”

 

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Benjamin Netanyahu Denies Reports Mahmoud Abbas Offered Direct Talks 3 Times

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close