Erekat, Abu Rudaineh off to DC for talks on statehood bid

Palestinian envoys plan to hold talks with US special envoy for Middle East peace on US efforts to restart peace negotiations.

Saeb Erekat 311 (photo credit: Mati Milstein)
Saeb Erekat 311
(photo credit: Mati Milstein)
Two Palestinian envoys are scheduled to travel to Washington on Wednesday for talks with US government officials on the Palestinian Authority’s intention to ask the UN in September to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines.
The two men, Saeb Erekat and Nabil Abu Rudaineh, plan to hold talks with David Hale, the US special envoy for Middle East peace, on Washington’s efforts to restart negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.
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Erekat and Abu Rudaineh visited Washington a few weeks ago. Then, US officials told them that the administration was strongly opposed to the statehood bid and would most likely veto such a move in the Security Council.
Last week, US officials stepped up pressure on the PA leadership to drop the unilateral statehood bid, telling the Palestinians that they must return to the negotiating table with Israel.
Erekat denied on Sunday a report in an Israeli newspaper according to which the US administration has presented the PA with secret documents that would enable it to resume peace talks with Israel.
The PA emissaries’ talks in Washington come on the eve of a planned meeting of the Quartet members – the US, EU, UN and Russia – to discuss the peace process.
Erekat said that the PA was hoping that the Quartet meeting, which will take place on July 11, would endorse a formula that urges Israel to accept the two-state solution on the basis of the June 4, 1967, lines.
He also urged the Quartet to understand the PA’s motives for going to the UN in September.
The PA was doing so to “preserve the two-state solution and prospects for peace,” Erekat said.