Abbas on peace talks: Time not on our side

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss the peace talks with Israel, said “time is not on our side.”

“We don’t have any time to waste,” Abbas said March 17 while greeting Obama in the White House Oval Office, according to pool reports distributed by the White House. 

Abbas said one factor adding urgency to the need for a peace deal is the turmoil roiling the Arab world.

Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are set to unveil a framework for a final peace agreement as a spur to advance talks underway since July. Obama and Kerry met two weeks ago with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The sides have hewed generally to Kerry’s demand that the talks remain under wraps, but leaked reports suggest that negotiators have reached an impasse over Israel maintaining a presence in the Jordan Valley and the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. — jta