Signs of tensions between the Palestinian Authority and the US surfaced over the
weekend following a visit to Washington by two senior Palestinian envoys, Saeb
Erekat and Nabil Abu Rudaineh.RELATED:
The two men went to Washington last week
for talks with US government officials on the PA’s intention to ask the United
Nations in September to recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-1967
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Erekat said upon his arrival in Amman that the talks in Washington
did not produce any results.
The US administration once again made it
clear that it would veto the statehood bid at the UN, he said.
informed us that they would use the veto if we go to the Security Council,”
Erekat said. “They also told us that Congress would vote in favor of cutting off
financial aid to the PA if it proceeds with its plan to go to the
Erekat and Abu Rudaineh held talks in Washington with David Hale, US
special envoy for Middle East peace, and Dennis Ross, special adviser for the
Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia to Secretary of State Hillary
Erekat blasted the House of Representatives and the Senate for
threatening to cut off financial aid to the Palestinians as “unacceptable and
Despite the threats, the PA would pursue its efforts to
become a member of the UN, he said. “Political, legal and moral criteria demand
that we continue with our efforts,” Erekat told the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat
The US administration was now waiting to see what the Quartet
members decide during their meeting on Monday, Erekat added. The Quartet
representatives are scheduled to discuss the PA’s plan for statehood and ways of
reviving the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
Hammad, political adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, also condemned threats
to cut off financial aid to the Palestinians. The threats were a betrayal of all
the values the Americans are talking about with regards to freedom and human
rights, he said.
“The Palestinian Authority will not succumb to this
irresponsible stance of the US lawmakers,” Hammad said.
“We will proceed
with our efforts to achieve a state in September and we won’t
PA negotiator Nabil Sha’ath said the Palestinians were
leading a “real battle” ahead of September to rally as many countries as
possible in favor of the statehood bid. In this battle, the Palestinians would
emerge victorious, he said.
Sha’ath pointed out that 115 countries had
already recognized the Palestinian state, while another 20 were expected to
follow suit before September.
He too criticized the US administration for
pressuring the PA leadership to refrain from going to the UN.