Erekat denies US restarting talks ahead of UN state bid

PLO negotiator rejects 'NY Times' report that Obama administration introduced plan in order to avoid having to cast veto at UN.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
September 4, 2011 12:41
2 minute read.
Saeb Erekat

Erekat talking with hands in air 311. (photo credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat on Sunday denied a New York Times report that the Obama administration has introduced a plan to restart peace talks with Israel to try to convince the Palestinian Authority to give up the bid to seek recognition at the the UN General Assembly.

The report, published Saturday, said that Washington has launched an effort to avoid a clash stemming from plans by Palestinians to seek recognition as a state at the United Nations.

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Erekat said that the Palestinian Authority had not received a new US proposal to resume negotiations with Israel, according to Israel Radio.

He dismissed the concern expressed by US officials in a conversation with the Times about an outbreak of violence in the West Bank against the move.

"We want everyone, Palestinians in the West Bank and those outside in surrounding areas, to go out into the streets everywhere, and wave the Palestinian flag to support the statehood bid," Erekat said.

The New York Times report said that the Obama administration has introduced a plan to restart peace talks with Israel to try to convince Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to give up the bid to seek recognition at the annual meeting of leaders at the UN General Assembly.

The administration has told Abbas it would veto any request made to the UN Security Council to make a Palestinian nation a new member, the Times said.

But it said Washington lacked support to block a vote by the Assembly to raise the status of the Palestinians to a nonvoter observer state from that of a nonvoting "entity," which could allow them to join many UN bodies, and pursue cases against Israel at the International Criminal Court.

Senior US officials and foreign diplomats, whom the Times did not identify, said the administration wanted to avoid having to cast a veto as well as a General Assembly vote that would leave only the United States and a few other nations opposed to Palestinian nationhood.

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