Abbas rejects US plan for permanent Israel troop presence

Abbas rejects US plan for permanent Israel troop presence
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has rejected US proposals for Israel to keep troops in a future Palestinian state along its strategic border with Jordan, a Palestinian source said on Friday.

Following a meeting on Thursday evening with US Secretary of State John Kerry in the West Bank city of Ramallah, "President Abbas has rejected the ideas presented by the secretary of state", the source said.

Abbas also gave Kerry a letter on "Palestinian red lines", the source added, singling out "the refusal to recognise Israel as a Jewish state".

Abbas "rejected the ideas on security because there is not a third party". This refers to a plan by former US national security adviser James Jones under which a third party would deploy along the Palestinian-Jordanian border.

The Palestinian source said that "all disputed issues must be settled".

Israeli and Arab media reports say the plan envisaged by Washington would see Israel maintain a military presence on the border after a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

An international force would be acceptable to the Palestinians, but Israel opposes such a solution.

Abbas's comments were made public as Kerry met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in his latest attempt at promoting an elusive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

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