'PA will defer UN statehood bid if 'serious' talks begin'

Abed Rabbo says PA is determined to achieve statehood but will delay UN plan if negotiations based on '67 borders start before September.

PLO Exec. C'tee Sec.-Gen Abed Rabbo 311 (R) (photo credit: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)
PLO Exec. C'tee Sec.-Gen Abed Rabbo 311 (R)
(photo credit: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)
The Palestinian leadership will defer its plan to seek a declaration of statehood in the United Nations this September if "real and serious" negotiations begin before that point, PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo told London-based Al-Hayyat on Monday.
Abed Rabbo added that the Palestinians only have two options in their playbook and that if it is not satisfied by renewed talks, it will go ahead with the United Nations plan.
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Describing what the Palestinian Authority would find acceptable in negotiations, he said they must be based on benchmarks set by the Quartet, notably, being based on pre-1967 lines with minimal land exchanges without any population transfer.
Abed Rabbo added that if the United Nations does confer statehood on a Palestinian state, that one of its first moves would be to ask the international community to force Israel to withdraw its military forces from Palestinian territories.
Speculating on the level of support the Palestinians can expect to receive in their planned statehood bid, he told Al-Hayyat that "the vast majority of influential countries, including European countries, will recognize the state of Palestine," predicting near unanimous support.
Abed Rabbo also discussed what moves the Palestinian leadership might take following a declaration of Palestinian statehood in the United Nations. He pointed to instances ranging from Kosovo to current interventions in the Middle East as examples of the international community's increased willingness to support freedom. The PLO official said that the Palestinians would rely on international law to accomplish their goals.