Saeb Erekat 311.
(photo credit: Mati Milstein)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday expressed
disappointment over the failure of the Quartet representatives to issue a
statement calling for the renewal of the Middle East peace process.
PA was hoping that the Quartet members – the US, EU, UN and Russia – would call,
following their meeting in Washington, for the resumption of the
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on the basis of the pre-1967 lines.
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PA was also hoping that the Quartet would call for a complete cessation of
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused the
Quartet of succumbing to Israeli “pressure.”
He said that it was high
time that the US administration stopped treating Israel as if it were a state
above the law.
He added that the Israeli government alone bears full
responsibility for the collapse of the peace process.
Erekat, the international community should now support the PA’s statehood bid in
the wake of the failure of the Quartet to issue a statement on the peace
Abbas said that the failure of the Quartet to issue a statement
was a “bad sign because it shows that there are differences between
The PA president, who was speaking to reporters after meeting with
Greek President Karolos Papoulias, said that the PA wanted to see the Quartet
members in agreement “so that we could go to our basic option, which is
returning to the negotiations.”
He added that the PA would return to the
negotiating table once the Quartet agreed on the issues of settlements and the
borders of a Palestinian state.
“If they don’t reach agreement, we will
then go to the United Nations,” he said.
He expressed hope that the US
would then refrain from using the veto to thwart such a move.
“We hope we
will go to the United Nations in agreement with the Americans,” he
Abbas said that, as of now, the PA’s position remains that it will
go to the UN in September to ask for recognition of a state on the pre-1967
lines “if efforts to resume the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations
The path of negotiations is facing many difficulties because of
Israel’s refusal to accept the signed agreements and creating new illegal facts
on the ground, the PA president said.
“These actions threaten and
discredit the peace process,” Abbas charged. “Therefore we are looking forward
to the entire international community to assume its role in pushing the peace
process forward by emphasizing the need to abide by the two-state solution and
rejecting Israel’s settlement policy.”
He said that in the end the
Palestinians would triumph “because ours is a just cause and we will enjoy
stability and prosperity in an independent state with Jerusalem as its
The PA government, meanwhile, announced on Tuesday that the
Palestinians were ready for statehood more than ever.
expressed hope that the international community was ready to “fulfill its duty
and end occupation so that the Palestinians would be able to establish an
independent state along the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its
Following its weekly meeting in Ramallah, the PA government
urged the international community to force Israel to honor international law,
especially with regards to halting settlement expansion and settler “assaults.”