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Palestinian group calls for suspending peace talks
GAZA, Israel (Reuters) -- A radical Palestinian organization called Wednesday for the suspension of talks with Israel and for Middle East peace efforts to be turned over to the United Nations, saying Washington had failed as mediator.
The Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) issued its statement before Palestinian President Yasser Arafat visits the United Nations next week.
President Clinton is expected to hold separate talks with Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak on Sept. 6 on the sidelines of the U.N. Millennium Summit.
"The PFLP calls for suspending the talks based on American reference and on the hopeless Oslo agreements," it said. "It calls for moving the Palestinian cause to the United Nations to secure the implementations of its own relevant resolutions.
"Facts have proven that the United States was no longer a neutral mediator, a broker or a sponsor. It stood heavily on the side of the policies of (Israeli) occupation and aggression."
Clinton was in Egypt Tuesday for talks with President Hosni Mubarak on obstacles holding up a final Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement.
Clinton, in the final months of his presidency, failed at a U.S.-brokered summit last month to clinch agreement between Arafat and Barak on a final deal resolving borders, Jerusalem, refugees and the future of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
The Damascus-based PFLP urged the Palestine Liberation Organization's mini-parliament, due to meet on Sept. 9, to stick to a Sept. 13 deadline for a final accord.
"The Palestinian Central Council should declare the end of autonomy and the transitional period and declare the sovereignty of the state of Palestine on all lands occupied in 1967."
It urged Palestinians to prepare to "confront the (Israeli) enemy. The enemy has left the Palestinian people no choice but the options of confrontation and resistance as legal means to confront the occupation."
Arafat has promised to declare statehood as early as Sept.13, with or without an accord with Israel, but Palestinian officials have made clear the proclamation could be deferred if there was progress in negotiations.
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