Govt upbeat about Mideast talks

2010-09-10 14:32

Johannesburg - The first round of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders were held in good faith, the international relations and co-operation department (Dirco) said on Friday.

"SA reiterates its beliefs that the only option to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement negotiated between the parties aimed at the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state," spokesperson Saul Molobi said in a statement.

He said the establishment of a Palestine state should be on the basis of 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, existing side-by-side in peace and security with Israel.

The first round of negotiations was launched on September 2 in Washington. The second round was scheduled for Egypt from September 14 to 15.

He said Pretoria was however concerned about the continued settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the continued excavations under the al-Aqsa Mosque, the declaring of certain holy sites as Israeli national heritage sites, and the institution of Israeli military order 1650, which allows the deportation of indigenous Jerusalemites.