Erekat: PM must distance himself from call to oust Abbas

Responding to Liberman's letter to the Quartet calling for new Palestinian elections, Palestinian negotiator says PM must state he's unconnected to the comments or it would raise questions of Israel's intentions.

August 22, 2012 14:02
Saeb Erekat

Erekat talking with hands in air 311. (photo credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must distance himself from comments made by his foreign minister calling to oust the Palestinian Authority (PA) president, said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Wednesday.

"Netanyahu must make it clear that he is not connected to [Foreign Minister Avigdor] Liberman's comments," Erekat said in an interview with Army Radio.

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In a letter to the Quartet obtained by AFP, Liberman called for new Palestinian elections in a bid to oust PA president Mahmoud Abbas, whom he accused of impeding the peace process.

"If he doesn't do that, we will understand that this is his government's stance, and this would put a question mark over Israel's intentions toward us," he added.

AFP quoted Liberman as writing in the letter that Abbas was "apparently uninterested or unable... to reach an agreement which would bring an end to the conflict."

"The time has come to consider a creative solution, to think 'outside the box,' in order to strengthen the Palestinian leadership," the letter continued. "General elections in the PA should be held, and a new, legitimate [and] hopefully realistic Palestinian leadership should be elected."

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