Palestinians: Olmert lying about peace progress

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

Senior Palestinian officials on Tuesday called out Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for earlier announcing that he and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had made significant progress in their peace talks.

Speaking to foreign dignitaries as they arrived to participate in Israel's 60th anniversary and President Shimon Peres' Facing Tomorrow conference, Olmert stated that he had reached "understandings and points of agreement" with Abbas on several key sticking points.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat responded to the claim by telling Reuters that while the ongoing talks are "serious and in-depth," wide gaps still exist between the two sides on all major issues.

Another senior Palestinian official who spoke on condition of anonymity blasted Olmert for misrepresenting the level of progress.

Palestinian officials have for weeks been accusing Olmert of talking up fabricated progress in the peace process in order to divert attention from his own legal troubles.

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