Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas threatened on Tuesday to walk away from the U.S.-led peace talks with Israel, and instead take their case to other international bodies. "We salute the American efforts," Abbas said in a speech, "But Israel is procrastinating." The current bilateral talks with Israel, which the U.S. sought to extend this week, were brought to the table on the condition that Palestine "suspend" its desire to seek international recognition.
In televised remarks on Tuesday, Abbas said that he has signed agreements with 15 international organizations, and would pursue more agreements if Israel continues to delay the release of a promised fourth batch of Palestinian prisoners, Ma'an news agency reported. Although the negotiations will continue for now, Abbas's decision put the talks on notice just after the U.S.'s apparent offer to release spy Jonathan Pollard in exchange for Israel's cooperation. Abbas's office confirmed that a planned meeting between the president and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday has been cancelled.
Update: In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Kerry said it was "completely premature" to write-off the peace talks at this point. However, the Secretary of State has cancelled his planned visit to the Mideast tomorrow.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.