Erekat: Israel must choose - peace or settlements

Chief PLO negotiator's comments come after talks with Clinton in Washington, avoids meeting with Mofaz.

Hillary Clinton and Saeb Erekat meet in Ramallah [file] 370R (photo credit: Ammar Awad / Reuters)
Hillary Clinton and Saeb Erekat meet in Ramallah [file] 370R
(photo credit: Ammar Awad / Reuters)
Israel must choose between peace and settlements and release Palestinian prisoners, Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat was quoted Thursday as saying.
Erekat's remarks came after he held talks in Washington with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on ways of reviving the stalled peace process.
He said he relayed to the US Administration the Palestinian demands for reviving the peace process: a full cessation of settlement construction and the release of Palestinian prisoners. "I discussed with Clinton the Palestinian stance [toward the peace process]," Erekat said.
"We are not against returning to the negotiating table. But how can we negotiate while IIsrael is continuing to build settlements on territories that are supposed to be part of a Palestinian state."
Erekat also demanded that Israel release 123 security prisoners who were imprisoned before the signing of the Oslo Accords. "Israel must choose between peace and settlements," Erekat told the daily Al-Quds newspaper.
Erekat said he discussed with Clinton statements made by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman against PA President Mahmoud Abbas and which the Palestinians consider as "incitement."
Erekat said that Lieberman's verbal attacks against Abbas "pose a grave danger to the peace process." Erekat said he also briefed Clinton on Israeli security measures against Palestinians both in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
He also denied that he had met during his visit to Washington with Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, who is currently in the US.