PA: We're one step away from pursuing int'l bodies

PA foreign minister: Palestinians seek Arab consultation before heading to int'l organizations, should Israel fail to answer letter.

April 22, 2012 09:24
2 minute read.
PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki

Palestinian FM Riad Malki at UNESCO 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)


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The Palestinian Authority is one step away from approaching international organizations unilaterally, should Israel fail to respond positively to a letter sent by PA President Mahmoud Abbas to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported on Sunday.

Speaking with Ma'an, PA Foreign Affairs Minister Riad al-Malki said that the Palestinians will seek consultation from other Arab nations before deciding the next step towards achieving an independent Palestinian state.

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Malki said that the PA "will determine the steps that we will take according to the choices available to us" after receiving Israel's response to the Palestinian letter, which outlined the Palestinian position on resuming direct peace talks with Israel.

"When we study all the options we will head to our Arab brothers for consultation, and after this is done we will begin to move outside," he said.

The minister also announced that Abbas is scheduled to visit Tunisia and Libya, after the two North African nations invited him at the recent Arab summit in Iraq.

On Saturday, an Abbas spokesperson said that the PA was ready to restart negotiations with Israel if Jerusalem responds positively to a list of Palestinians demands outlined in a letter by Abbas and relayed to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Otherwise, the PA will resume efforts to unilaterally achieve UN recognition of Palestinian state, and move to isolate Israeli "occupation" policies by exposing their real effects on Palestinians living in the West Bank, the spokesperson warned.

“The letter demanded a full cessation of settlement activities in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and Israeli recognition of the 1967 borders,” the spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, told The Jerusalem Post. He was speaking to reporters in Ramallah following a meeting between Abbas and David Hale, the US envoy to the Middle East.

Abu Rudaineh said that Abbas briefed the US emissary on the content of the letter, which was delivered to Netanyahu last week by Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat and Majed Faraj, head of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service in the West Bank. It warned of the pending collapse of the two-state solution.

“If we don’t receive a positive answer, we will resume our efforts to achieve UN recognition of a Palestinian state. We will also pursue our efforts to isolate the policies of the occupation and expose Israel’s ambitions in our lands, water and holy sites.”

During Saturday’s meeting, Abbas told Hale that he was expecting an Israeli response to his letter within two weeks, Abu Rudaineh said. “If the Israeli reply is positive, this would be an encouraging sign to move in the right direction.”

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report

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