Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinians were
ready to restart peace negotiations if based around the principles US
President Barack Obama laid out in his State Department dress on the
Middle East, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
to the report, Erekat, who met Monday with Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton and other senior White House officials, said that if
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accepted Obama's platform of a return
to pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, then he would have a
partner for negotiations.
PM: 'Israel cannot return to indefensible 1967 lines'
Molcho, Erekat in DC for separate talks with US
He also said that according to what the prime minister said at the US Congress during his Washington visit, "he's not a partner for peace."
Netanyahu had rejected Obama's 1967-lines formulation, saying that any borders based on the pre-Six Day War lines would be "indefensible."
Speaking from a luncheon meeting with Middle East experts sponsored by the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution, the Palestinian negotiator said that "[If Netanyahu] wants to be a partner, he has to say it: Two states on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,"
He added that without such a declaration, talks would not move forward, the Washington Post
said. Erekat was in Washington
to consult with the acting US Middle East envoy David Hale, who he met with on Monday. US
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dropped by the Hale- Erekat meeting
in an unscheduled visit that has been seen by some as a means of gauging
whether the Palestinian and Israeli positions allow any possibility for
“The point of the meeting was to work on getting both sides back to the table,” one State Department official said.