Erekat: If Netanyahu accepts '67 lines, we'll resume talks

Abbas talking to Jordan's Abdullah, Arab leaders on Obama speech; PLO official: PA will give up UN statehood push if '67 lines accepted.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 22, 2011 14:25
1 minute read.
Saeb Erekat

erekat raise the roof REUTERS 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat on Sunday said that he agreed with US President Barack Obama's assertion that the 1967 borders should be the basis for negotiations with Israel, but that it was more important that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accept this premise.

“Once Netanyahu says that the negotiations will lead to a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, then everything will be set,” Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted Erekat as saying. He added that until that happened, negotiations with Israel would not resume.

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Following Obama's Middle East speech on Thursday, in which he said that a future Palestinian State should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed upon land swaps, PA President Mahmoud Abbas called an emergency meeting of the PA leadership to discuss the new developments. Erekat said that the meeting could take place on Tuesday or Wednesday after Abbas, who is currently in Jordan meeting with King Abdullah, completes consultations with Arab leaders and the Arab League.

PLO Executive Committee member Hana Amira was quoted by Israel Radio on Sunday as saying that the Palestinians would cancel plans to go to the UN with a unilateral declaration of statehood in September if Israel would agree to negotiations based on the 1967 lines and freeze all building in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem for a period of three months.

Following Obama's speech on Thursday, Erekat said that Abbas appreciated Obama’s efforts to resume the peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel, and maintained hopes of reaching a solution on the core issues, according to an agreed timetable.

“President Abbas affirms his appreciation for President Obama’s declaration regarding people’s right to self-determination, freedom and dignity, as well as ensuring freedom of worship,” Erekat added.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.


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