PLO in diplomatic blitz to prevent ‘annexation,’ free prisoners

Earlier, Erekat said that Britain, Japan and Norway officials told him that they rejected any “annexation” of parts of the West Bank and affirmed their continued support for UNRWA.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat speaks during a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 2, 2012. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat speaks during a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 2, 2012.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
As part of its effort to rally worldwide opposition to Israeli plans to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and Northern Dead Sea, the Palestinian leadership appealed to more countries to pressure Israel to refrain from taking such a step.
The Palestinian leadership is also demanding that the international community exert pressure on Israel to release Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons in light of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said on Sunday that he had more phone conservations with international parties, including European Union Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Susanna Terstal, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Mikhail Bogdanov, and Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney.
“Erekat discussed in his talks the situation in the Palestinian territories and the prospects of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement based on international laws, serving the peace process with the help of the international community, especially members of the UN Security Council, and the release of [Palestinian] prisoners,” according to a statement issued by the PLO.
The statement said that Erekat “found consensus among his interlocutors to reject [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s and [US President Donald] Trump’s plan for annexation and the continued expansion of settlements.”
Erekat said he also found consensus among the world officials he spoke to about the need “to preserve the two-state solution on the basis of the June 4, 1967 borders, and conducting direct dialogue between the two parties with the assistance of the Quartet mediators” – the UN, Russia, EU and US.
In addition, Erekat added, he found consensus regarding the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the need to curb its spread, as well as supporting the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) so that it can continue providing its services to Palestinian refugees.
Earlier, Erekat said that Britain, Japan and Norway officials told him that they rejected any “annexation” of parts of the West Bank and affirmed their continued support for UNRWA.
Last week Erekat sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and other world leaders urging them to work towards securing the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.


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