The prime minister of the Palestinian government, Salam Fayyad, says he does not believe conditions are right for the Palestinians to resume a meaningful dialogue with Israel.
Fayyad made the comment on October 19 during a visit to Washington, at a meeting sponsored by a nonprofit group that promotes the cause of Palestinian independence.
His comments came after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu earlier this week criticized the Palestinians' refusal to negotiate directly with Israel at the next scheduled meeting of envoys from the international Quartet of Middle East mediators -- the European Union, Russia, the United Nations, and the United States. The Quartet is expected to hold separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials in Jerusalem on October 26.
This week's prisoner exchange
, in which an Israeli soldier held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip for more than five years was traded for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, had raised hopes that peace talks between the sides might resume.
compiled from agency reports