Erekat pushes Palestinian statehood case with Kerry

Chief PLO negotiator presents John Kerry with plan for establishing an independent Palestinian state within a specific timeline.

September 4, 2014 08:51
1 minute read.
saeb erekat

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat (C) and Maen Rashid Areikat (2nd R), chief of the PLO)delegation in Washington, arrive to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington September 3, 2014.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat on Wednesday presented US Secretary of State John Kerry with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s new peace plan to establish a Palestinian state.

Abbas dispatched Erekat and PA General Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj to Washington to present the initiative to Kerry.

Following the meeting, Erekat said he delivered a letter from Abbas to Kerry regarding the “needs to end the Israeli occupation within a specific timetable.

Erekat said that the initiative calls for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Erekat did not say anything about Kerry’s response to the initiative.

Abbas was recently quoted as saying that he did not expect the US Administration to accept his new initiative, which he described as an “unconventional solution” to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

“Kerry met with Saeb Erekat and Majed Faraj for about two hours this afternoon,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

“It was a constructive conversation that covered a range of issues, including Gaza, Israeli-Palestinian relations, and recent developments in the region.”

A top advisor to Abbas said this week that the new initiative calls for the launching of peace talks with Israel for nine months, during which time there would be a freeze of settlement construction and a release of Palestinian prisoners who were supposed to be freed last March.

The talks, he said, would aim to set a three-year timeline for Israel’s full withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.

Abbas’s plan calls for resorting to the UN Security Council to “impose” a solution once the peace talks with Israel fail.

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