PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The US Administration has rejected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s new political initiative for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a PA official in Ramallah said Thursday.
The plan, which envisages a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines within three years, was presented to US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday by Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat.
Abbas dispatched Erekat and General Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj to Washington to present the political initiative to Kerry and other US officials.
However, the official said Washington has rejected Abbas’s initiative, saying it was opposed to any unilateral move that could negatively impact the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Following the meeting in Washington, Erekat said he delivered a letter from Abbas to Kerry regarding the “needs to end the Israeli occupation within a specific timetable.”
Erekat said the initiative calls for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital.
Abbas was recently quoted saying he did not expect the US administration to accept his new initiative, which he described as an “unconventional solution” to the Israeli- Arab conflict.
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“Kerry met with Saeb Erekat and Majed Faraj for about two hours this afternoon,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
“It was a constructive conversation that covered a range of issues, including Gaza, Israeli- Palestinian relations, and recent developments in the region.”
A top adviser to Abbas said this week that the new initiative calls for the launching of peace talks with Israel for nine months, during which time there would be a freeze of settlement construction and a release of Palestinian prisoners who were supposed to be freed last March.
The talks, he said, would aim to set a three-year timeline for Israel’s full withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
Abbas’s plan calls for resorting to the UN Security Council to “impose” a solution once the peace talks with Israel fail.
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