'Abbas has no plans to dismantle PA if peace talks fail'

Erekat also denies rumors of PA president threatening to resign, details 5 "alternatives" which Palestinians will consider if no deal made.

October 10, 2010 16:52
2 minute read.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat gives a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Erekat 311. (photo credit: AP)


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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has no plans to resign or dismantle the PA if the peace talks with Israel fail, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Sunday.

Over the past few weeks, Abbas has repeatedly threatened to quit his post if the peace talks don’t achieve progress and Washington does not exert enough pressure on Israel.

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Erekat: PA will only accept complete freeze during talks
Editor's Notes: The fog of diplomacy

The most recent threat was made in Amman on the eve of last week’s Arab League meeting in Libya.

Abbas reportedly told members of the Palestine National Council, the PLO’s parliament-in-exile, that he would quit and dissolve the PA if the peace process collapses.

Erekat said that Abbas, who met with Arab League foreign ministers in Libya on Friday, presented them with five “alternatives” that the Palestinians should consider once the talks with Israel fail.

Erekat said the “alternatives” include demands that Israel halt all settlement construction as a condition for pursuing the peace talks, and seeking American and United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967, lines.

He added that if none of these options happens, the Palestinians would study articles 77 and 85 of the UN Charter regarding the possibility of demanding an international trusteeship over the Palestinian territories.

Erekat said the Palestinians also had other “alternatives,” but did not elaborate.

The Arab League declared its support for Abbas’s refusal to return to the negotiating table unless Israel renews the freeze on settlement construction.

The ministers are scheduled to meet after a month to assess the situation and make a final decision on the future of the peace talks.

The 30-day period is aimed at giving the US administration another chance to convince the Netanyahu government to renew the freeze, if even for only two to three months.

Palestinian political analyst Hani al-Masri described the Arab League decision as a form of evading responsibility for backing the Palestinian position.

“The Palestinian leadership has internalized the fact that the Arabs are incapable of taking any serious decision with regards to the Palestinian cause,” Masri said, noting that the Arab governments have already ruled out sending their armies to confront Israel and were opposed to seeking UN recognition for an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines without a negotiated settlement.

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