Saeb Erekat -- the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel -- said today (February 10, 2014) that direct negotiations have stalled and would not be extended beyond April. He also underlined the PA position that it would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, the Algemeiner website reports.
Speaking in Ramallah, Erekat denied reports that there was an initiative from the U.S. to extend the negotiations beyond a self-imposed April 29 deadline.
He also dismissed a reported statement from Tzipi Livni -- head of the Israeli delegation to the peace talks -- on the willingness of the PA to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, saying that "it will not happen."
Erekat has been a lead member of the negotiating team for the PA -- and before that for the PLO (the Palestinian Liberation Organization headed by the late Yasser Arafat) -- for the past 23 years.