Despite PA Rejection, Quartet to Meet on Restarting Talks
The Quartet on Sunday will discuss the negotiation deal it offered Israel and the Palestinian Authority last month, in light of the PA's rejection of the proposal. The Quartet group, consisting of the United States and Russia, and a delegation from the EU and the UN, will discuss ways to push the PA to agree to the negotiating table.
According to the plan, negotiations between Israel and the PA were to begin within a month, with a one-year time limit for a workable final settlement between the two sides. All issues would be up for negotiations, but no preconditions would be set. Israel agreed to the arrangement, but the PA, which has been seeking preconditions – especially for a complete suspension of Israeli building in all of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem – as a requirement for coming back to the negotiation tables, rejected the arrangement.
In a meeting last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's inner cabinet voted to accept the proposal, based on the the fact that no preconditions were set. Israeli officials said that they were ready to meet PA negotiators anywhere, at any time. The officials said that they hoped that the Quarter would not decide to make concessions to the PA, in the form of preconditions, in order to attract the PA to the talks.
Meanwhile, the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council met over the weekend to discuss the PA's statehood bid. The meeting consisted of delegates from all 15 Security Council member countries appointed to an Admissions Committee, which will examine all the issues and recommend to the Security Council whether or not to vote on the PA's request for recognition of an Arab state it plans to declare in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. The meeting was closed to the media, and the group said it would discuss the issue again this week, possibly on Thursday.