The time has come for Palestine to become a permanent member of the UN,
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday as he reiterated
his opposition to the idea of a state with temporary borders.
He spoke in
Ramallah after meeting with visiting Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, whose
country recognized a Palestinian state in January.
But unlike other South
American countries that made similar declarations, Chile did not simultaneously
declare its recognition of the pre-1967 armistice lines as the contours of that
Pinera on Saturday told Channel 1 that Chile believed the borders
of the Palestinian state were best set through negotiations.
other conditions have to be agreed upon between the Israeli government and the
Palestinians...because that is the only way tohave a strong, sustainable peace and to build over rock and not over sand,” he
The Chilean leader, who was set to meet on Sunday with Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, said that the two men had already spoken over the
telephone about the core issues in the conflict, including borders, refugees and
“These issues have to be agreed on and discussed in peace
talks,” Pinera said.
Palestinians have refused to hold direct
negotiations with Israel unless it halts all West Bank settlement activity and
Jewish building in east Jerusalem.
Israel has called on the Palestinians
to return to the negotiating table without conditions.
Netanyahu has been
under pressure to come up with a plan to break the stalemate. There is
speculation that he will propose a Palestinian state with provisional
Abbas on Saturday said he had not yet heard such a proposal from
However, he declared the PA’s refusal of such an
“We know of a proposal that was made in the past,” Abbas said. “If
this proposal to establish a state with temporary borders is made again, we will
The time has come for a Palestinian state to become a
permanent member of the UN, Abbas said, adding that the PA has completed
building state institutions.
He said he hoped that a Palestinian state on
the 1967 lines would be declared by September and blamed Israel for the
stalemate in the peace process.
Abbas called on members of the Quartet to
take measures that would “force Israel to end its aggression and occupation of
“Our people deserve freedom and independence so that they
could live in their homeland like the rest of the people in the world,” he
The peace process was facing a crisis because of Israel’s policies
and practices “that aim to seize our lands,” the PA president
Accusing Israel of working toward unilaterally establishing facts
on the ground, Abbas warned that this was “unacceptable.”
Palestinians, he stressed, would remain real and full partners to any peace
process “despite all the obstacles.”
An Israeli official told The
Jerusalem Post that Abbas could not both attack Israeli proposals such as a
Palestinian state with provisional borders and refuse to
“Israel would be more than happy to restart negotiations on a
final-status agreement. It is Abu Mazen [Abbas] who has torpedoed the
negotiations on a finalstatus agreement. If he wants to return to negotiations
we can do so immediately. But he cannot, after he has prevented the negotiations
from going forward, complain that we are looking at alternatives,” the official
The official added that it was a “pipe dream” for Palestinians to
believe that they could acquire a state without negotiations.
Washington on Friday, US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley spoke against
Palestinian unilateral efforts at the United Nations.
“We do not believe
that will be a successful strategy,” Crowley said.
Negotiations were the
best path to two state solutions, in which both parties would live side by side
in peace, he said.
“We are strong advocates of a viable Palestinian
state, and we are strong advocates of a State of Israel that can live in peace
and security with its neighbors.
We are determined to continue this
effort, and the best way that the parties can advance this process is to return
to direct negotiations that were – that’s what we’re trying to do,” he
“Our view is that the only way to resolve the core issues is
through direct negotiations. And any other efforts are sideshows that we
don’t think will be successful,” he said.
Last week, representatives of
the Quartet – the US, the EU, the UN and Russia – met with Palestinians in
Brussels. They are scheduled to arrive in Israel this week to talk with
The talks are in advance of a high-level Quartet meeting in
Paris set for March 15. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU foreign policy
chief Catherine Ashton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and UN Secretary-
General Ban Ki-moon are expected to attend.
Muhammad Shtayyeh, a member
of the PA negotiating team, claimed over the weekend that some members of the
Quartet were trying to postpone the meeting, so as to give Netanyahu time to
work out a plan.
“It’s sad that the meeting of the Quartet could be
delayed in order to give Netanyahu a chance to present his plan,” Shtayyeh said.