PA to consult with Arab powers over US peace role

Meeting to be held with Egypt, Arab League after US abandons settlement freeze talks; Sha'ath: PA considering going to UNSC for recognition.

December 8, 2010 19:06
3 minute read.
Mahmoud Abbas at Fatah Revolutionary Council event

Abbas Fatah Meeting 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to hold “urgent” consultations in Cairo on Thursday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in wake of Washington’s decision to abandon efforts to persuade Israel to extend a moratorium on settlement construction, a PA official said on Wednesday.

Abbas has also requested an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in the Egyptian capital next week to discuss the repercussions of the US decision.


Sha’ath added that the Palestinians hold Israel full responsible for the current deadlock in the peace talks

He said that Israel’s refusal to cease settlement construction would be added to US President Barack Obama’s “record of failure” in making the peace process succeed.

Barakat Farra, PA ambassador to Cairo, said that Abbas would consult with Mubarak about the Palestinians’ next step in response to the US announcement.

Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, said that the PA won’t announce its response to the US announcement before consulting with members of the Arab League.

He said that Abbas has informed the Americans that the Palestinians won’t take any step, including dispatching an envoy for talks with US officials in Washington, without consulting with the Arab countries.

Abbas, who learned about the US position during a visit to Greece, said that the peace process was facing a “difficult crisis.”

He told reporters in Athens that the EU could now play a larger role, together with the US, to achieve peace in the Middle East.

“There’s a crisis and it’s a difficult one,” Abbas said. “We are moving in two parallel directions that don’t impact each other: the peace process, which we are trying to save from the crisis it’s facing, and national reconciliation [with Hamas].”

Abbas said that despite the crisis in the peace talks with Israel, the Palestinians remained committed to a political solution on the basis of the road map and the Arab peace initiative, which he described as a “precious gift” to peace in the Middle East.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top PLO official closely associated with Abbas, said that the US decision harmed Washington’s credibility as an honest broker.

“If they can’t convince Israel or force it to stop settlement construction for a specified period of time, how will they make Israel accept a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders?” Abed Rabbo asked in an interview with the PA’s Voice of Palestine radio station.

“Instead of announcing that Israel is responsible for the failure of the negotiations, the US Administration is giving the Israelis an opportunity to waste more time. The US policy has failed because of the blow it has received from Israel.”

Related Content

A building belonging to generic drug producer Teva, Israel's largest company with a market value of
October 20, 2019
Opioid settlement talks fail with Teva, landmark trial expected Monday


Cookie Settings