'PA state bid shows Abbas decided to avoid peace talks'

PMO criticizes PA announcement that Palestinians will request recognition of state at UN on September 20; Livni says Netanyahu responsible.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 13, 2011 19:59
2 minute read.
PRIME MINISTER Binyamin Netanyahu in the Knesset

[Bibi blue] Binyamin Netanyahu 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Prime Minister's Office on Saturday referred to as "expected but unfortunate" the Palestinian Authority's announcement that they would request on September 20 recognition of a Palestinian State at the United Nations.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki on Saturday informed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon that PA President Mahmoud Abbas will ask the international community to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state on the first day of the annual opening gathering at UN headquarters in New York.

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"It seems that Abu Mazen [Abbas] has decided to avoid direct negotiations," a Prime Minister's Office Statement said in response to the Palestinian announcement.

The Israeli mission to the UN responded to news that Palestinians have decided to go ahead with their bid to seek statehood recognition in September by reiterating calls to return to the negotiating table.

An Israeli spokesperson said only direct talks with Jerusalem could lead to a comprehensive peace deal whereas unilateral moves were likely to provoke violence.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Saturday said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's failure to engage in negotiations with the Palestinians led to the PA's decision to ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian State on September 20.

"The Palestinian decision is bad for Israel and only one person is responsible for this diplomatic failure - Netanyahu," Livni said in a statement. "Netanyahu's inability to understand the situation and his refusal to continue negotiations, which Kadima had been holding in keeping with Israel's best interests, are leading Israel to one of the most dangerous diplomatic failures in its history," she added.

"Rather than establishing a Palestinian state through an agreement with Israel, Netanyahu is causing the world to establish a state in opposition to Israel's position," Livni stated.

"Kadima reiterates its call to renew negotiations before September," she said.

National Union MK Arye Eldad on Saturday called on Israel to cancel the Oslo Accords in reaction to the Palestinian announcement.

"The Government of Israel should announce immediately that with this application to the UN the Oslo Accords will be canceled and Israel should declare that Israeli law will be implemented in Judea and Samaria," Eldad said in a statement.

Gil Shefler contributed to this report.

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