(Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas laid out his vision on Monday for the final status of Israeli-Palestinian relations ahead of peace talks due to resume in Washington for the first time in nearly three years.
Abbas said that no Israeli settlers or border forces could remain in a future Palestinian state and that Palestinians deem illegal all Jewish settlement building within the land occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
The forceful statements appeared to challenge mediator U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's hopes that the terms of the talks, scheduled to begin Monday night over dinner, be kept secret.
"In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli - civilian or soldier - on our lands," Abbas said ...
..."We've already made all the necessary concessions," he said.
"East Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Palestine ... if there were and must be some kind of small exchange (of land) equal in size and value, we are ready to discuss this - no more, no less," he said.
TERMS OF REFERENCE
Before agreeing to return to talks last week, Palestinian officials were adamant that negotiations should have three main prerequisites: the release of veteran Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, a full settlement freeze and an acknowledgment of the 1967 lines as the basis for future borders.
Israel has publicly granted only one of those demands when its Cabinet on Sunday voted by a slim margin to approve the phased release of 104 Arab prisoners.
...Asked if the Americans may try to get Israel to agree to a de facto settlement freeze, the president made a broad smile and declined to answer: "I don't know... Israel has not yet agreed to a state on the 1967 lines, but it will go to the talks on that basis."