PM: PA asking UN to recognize statehood 'unrealistic'

"Peace will only be achieved through direct negotiations," Netanyhu says at start of weekly cabinet meeting.

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October 25, 2010 02:13
2 minute read.
Netanyahu at a weekly cabinet meeting

311_netanyahu with teacher stare. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir)

Amid increasing signs that the PA is considering turning to the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state inside the June 4, 1967, lines, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday such moves are “unrealistic” and would not move the diplomatic process forward.

Netanyahu’s comments at the start of the weekly cabinet session came as it was revealed that various bodies, including the National Security Council and the Foreign Ministry, were coming up with options for how to deal with such an eventuality.
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“We expect the Palestinians to honor their commitment to hold direct negotiations,” the prime minister said. “I think that any attempt to bypass them by appealing to international bodies is unrealistic and will not give any impetus to a genuine diplomatic process.”

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Netanyahu said “intensive contacts with the American administration” were continuing to find a way to restart the process. The aim was not just to resume the process, “but to advance it in such a way that it cannot be halted in a few weeks or months, and will enter into approximately one year of continuous negotiations on the fundamental problems, in order to try and reach a framework agreement ahead of a peace settlement,” he said.

“Peace will only be achieved through direct negotiations and I hope that we will fully return to this track soon,” he said.

Diplomatic sources characterized as “speculation” reports in the Arab press that Netanyahu would be willing to initiate another settlement construction moratorium for two to three months, on the condition that all the building that has begun since September 26, when the last freeze expired, would be allowed to continue.

The sources put the number of housing units that have been started since that time at around 250. It was pointed out that the previous freeze was announced only after permission was given to build some 2,500 units.

Although Netanyahu would face stiff resistance in the security cabinet to declaring a new settlement freeze, it is not expected that a further moratorium of a limited duration would force either Israel Beiteinu head Avigdor Lieberman or Shas head Eli Yishai out of the coalition.



Meanwhile, sources in the Prime Minister’s Office were noncommittal regarding whether Netanyahu will travel to the US early next month to attend the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in New Orleans. The annual gathering is scheduled for November 7 to 9. US Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to headline the event.

Netanyahu addressed last year’s meeting in Washington, and used that visit to meet with US President Barack Obama, a meting – widely perceived at the time as “frosty” – that was held at night and away from the press.

While it is not clear whether Netanyahu will be going to the US in November, a veritable parade of foreign leaders are expected to come here. Among the leaders expected in November and early December are the prime ministers of Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro, the deputy prime ministers of Russia and Vietnam, and the foreign ministers of Italy, Britain, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Botswana, Malta, Gabon, Australia and Ukraine.


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