Abbas smiling 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called an emergency meeting of the PLO and Fatah leaderships in Ramallah on Friday, Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, announced.
The decision to hold the emergency meeting came following a lengthy phone call between Abbas and US President Barack Obama, Abu Rudaineh said.
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“Following the phone conversation, President Abbas invited members of the PLO Executive Committee and the Fatah Central Committee to an emergency meeting to discuss the latest developments that were raised between the president and Obama,” the spokesman added.
Sources in Ramallah said that the phone conversation dealt with the PA’s plan to seek a United Nations Security Council resolution
condemning construction in the settlements. They said that Abbas rejected Washington’s demand not to go to the Security Council.
The sources said that Obama made it clear to Abbas that the US would veto such a resolution so as not to jeopardize efforts to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Nabil Sha’ath, member of the PA negotiating delegation, said on Thursday that the PA leadership was determined to pursue its efforts to obtain a resolution condemning the construction in the settlements despite heavy pressure from the US.
Sha’ath said that the US Administration has offered the PA to abandon its plan to seek a resolution on the settlements in return for a statement that would be issued by the Security Council and that would condemn the construction without holding a vote.
He said that the PA would pursue its efforts to seek condemnation of
Israel even after the US vetoes the resolution at the Security Council.
The PA would go to the Quartet and other international forums, including
the international court in The Hague, to force Israel to stop
settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, he said.
“The US will lose a lot if it uses the veto to kill the resolution that
is supposed to be presented to the Security Council on Friday,” Sha’ath
cautioned. “The US is currently facing a test to prove its fairness and
its objective role as the sponsor of the Israeli-Palestinian peace
talks. We hope that the US would refrain from using the veto.”
Abbas, meanwhile, hinted on Thursday that his plan to hold local,
legislative and parliamentary elections by September may fail if Hamas
insisted on banning the vote in the Gaza Strip.
“The presidential and parliamentary elections must take place in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip,” Abbas told reporters after meeting with the
president of East Timor.
“It’s unacceptable to hold the elections in the West Bank without the Gaza Strip.”
Abbas said that internal divisions were the most dangerous threat facing
the Palestinians. “Our main goal now is to restore national unity,” he
said. “We called for the elections so that the people would be able to
express their views on this subject.”