Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
WASHINGTON – A Palestinian delegation met with State Department officials on Monday in Washington for a routine US-Palestinian political dialogue, this year focusing primarily on the issues of peace negotiations with Israel, trade and investment in the Palestinian territories and the threat posed to the region by Islamic State.
According to a readout from the State Department, PLO delegation members “reiterated their commitment to a negotiated two-state outcome” with Israel, “which is the only way to achieve an enduring peace that meets Israeli and Palestinian security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, end the occupation that began in 1967 and resolve all permanent status issues.”
The Palestinians are considering taking their efforts for statehood to the United Nations Security Council. The Obama administration has not yet weighed in on whether it will support any of the many resolutions on the matter that are currently in draft form.
Saeb Erekat, who is part of the PLO delegation in Washington along with PA Intelligence Chief Majid Faraj, said that Secretary of State John Kerry participated in two hours of discussions. Their meetings in Foggy Bottom lasted a total of four hours, he told Palestinian press. The delegation also met with US National Security Advisor Susan Rice on Tuesday.
Erekat added that the delegation may meet with figures from the incoming Trump administration, but those meetings have not been confirmed.Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.