Erekat: PA Won't Attend Quartet Confab
Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat denied on Thursday that PA and Israeli representatives would meet in Jordan to discuss restarting peace talks on October 23.
"It was said that there are meetings and calls for meetings in Jordan between an Israeli and a Palestinian delegation with the Quartet. This talk is not true. We did not receive anything from them," Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio on Thursday.
"My view is that anyone who tries to get around the point that Israel must halt settlement and accept the '67 borders is only wasting their time," Erekat added.
The Quartet for Middle East Peace - the European Union, Russia, United States, and United Nations - last week announced October 23 as the date for the meeting without consulting officials in Jerusalem or Ramallah.
Quartet officials previously submitted a plan wherein Israeli and PA officials would resume talks without preconditions with the aim of concluding a final status agreement by December 2012.
The proposal came on the heels of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas' unilateral bid for statehood at the United Nations in September, which faces a promised negative recommendation from the United States in the Security Council.
To be approved and passed to the General Assembly for a vote Abbas' application for UN recognition and membership would have to win 9-votes in the 15-member Security Council including positive recommendations from all five permanent members.
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton last week reaffirmed US opposition to Abbas' UN application was a dead letter saying "its going nowhere."
Clinton also reiterated President Barack Obama's position, "the road to peace lies through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York."
But Abbas, currently in Paris for consultations with French president Nicolas Sarkozy, whose nation is also a permanent member of the Security Council, made it plain the Quartet plan holds no interest for him.
"There will be no negotiations for the sake of negotiations," he said.
Israel has accepted the Quartet plan saying it is ready to resume talks without preconditions with both sides raising reservations at the negotiating table, and is willing to attend the October 23 meeting.
At the same time, Israel has rejected Abbas' demand that Israel suspend construction in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem as a precondition for talks saying it is merely a fait accompli to forestall talks.
A previous 10-month building freeze by Israel aimed at satisfying identical PA demands and drawing officials in Ramallah to the table was rebuffed and met with mounting preconditions that ended in Abbas' bid.