Russia Prevents Quartet from Demanding PA Recognition of Israel
Russia has prevented the Quartet from issuing a demand that the PA acknowledge Israel as the Jewish State as the basis for negotiations in exchange for Israel’s acceptance of the 1949 Armistice lines (which are commonly called '67 borders, but were never recognized as such) as the basis for negotiations.
Russia also refused to refrain from raising the PA statehood bid at the UN this coming September.
Nabil Sha’ath, who is responsible for international relations in the PA, spoke to the WAFA news agency. “Russia has fulfilled an important and decisive role in preventing the Quartet from making these declarations. We want to praise the Russian position, and thank its Foreign Minister, for his support of the Palestinians.”
Sha’ath mentioned that while the Quartet did not take a stand on the 1949 Armistice lines being the basis for negotiations, it still did not give in to the pressure to demand that the PA acknowledge Israel as the Jewish State, or prevent the PA from turning to the UN.
The meeting of the Quartet was attended by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and Quartet special envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair. Disagreements between them prevented a joint declaration demanding that Israel and the PA resume negotiations. These disputes also prevented the Quartet from issuing a summary after Monday’s meeting.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas responded to the meeting and said that the PA hoped for a joint declaration, but that the Quartet clearly has points of disagreement among its members.”We want them to agree, so we can go back to the negotiations. If they agree on the borders and the settlements, we will negotiate. Otherwise, we will go to the UN.”