Israeli, PA lawmakers can't agree on peace declaration
At Paris parley, MK Danny Ayalon rejects introduction of clause saying settlement will be based on pre-1967 borders.
By BRENDA GAZZAR
MKs and Palestinian lawmakers failed to agree on a draft joint declaration aimed at promoting cooperation, peace and reconciliation, at a meeting with European parliamentarians in Paris on Tuesday.
The discussion was part of a forum launched in Rhodes last June by a Middle East subcommittee of the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly to facilitate the peace process without interfering in negotiations.
The forum is meant to create a climate of confidence at the parliamentary level, define areas where cooperation is possible and identify obstacles to peace that can be removed immediately.
MK Danny Ayalon (Israeli Beiteinu) represented the Knesset at the meeting, while Palestinian MP Abdullah Abdullah (Fatah) was among those who represented the Palestinian Legislative Council. The actual members of the new Knesset's delegation will be chosen in the coming weeks.
Ayalon said the two sides disagreed about the content of the declaration. The Palestinians wanted to introduce a clause that said that a settlement would be based on the pre-1967 borders, but the Israeli side rejected this, he said.
"This is up to the governments to negotiate," Ayalon said.
Abdullah said that the borders should be based on the pre-1967 demarcations.
"This is the international consensus," he said. "We cannot go below this... If they don't agree, there is no declaration."
Because no declaration was adopted, the issue would be revisited at a meeting next month in Strasbourg, officials said.
The current proposed declaration says the participants affirm their conviction that only a two-state solution based on previous signed agreements would put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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