PLO sets conditions for renewal of ties with US

Senior PLO official Saeb Erekat says Washington must commit itself to the peace process in order for PA to agree to resume contacts.

Elad Benari, Canada,

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat
Reuters

Senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Saeb Erekat on Friday set conditions for the Palestinian Authority (PA) renewing its ties with the United States, saying these ties can be resumed on condition that Washington commits itself to the peace process.

"If the current US government wants to resume political contacts with the Palestinian leadership, it should announce that East Jerusalem is occupied and terminate the decision of annexing the city to Israel," said Erekat, secretary general of the PLO Executive Committee, in a statement quoted by the Xinhua news agency.

He also asked the United States to declare the two-state solution along the pre-1967 borders as the goal of the peace process and resolve all final status issues according to the international resolutions.

"These are not Palestinian conditions, but references that had been agreed upon over the past 20 years with the former US governments and the whole world," said Erekat.

The PA has been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December of 2017 and his relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

It also refused to attend the US-led peace workshop in Bahrain last week, in which the US administration presented the economic portion of its peace plan for Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner later criticized the PA leadership for boycotting the Bahrain conference.

In a phone briefing with Israeli and Arab journalists, Kushner said that the PA had “made a strategic mistake” by boycotting the Bahrain conference.

He did, however, note in response to a question from an Arab journalist about the US perception of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the rest of the PA leadership, “I have a lot of respect for President Abbas, he’s devoted his life to making peace, he’s suffered some setbacks along the way. I believe in his heart he wants to make peace, and that we can give him an opportunity to try to achieve that.”

Abbas later responded to Kushner, saying,"The Trump administration’s peace plan will fail just as the economic conference in Bahrain failed.”

Abbas described the Bahrain conference as “a big lie conceived by Kushner” and declared, “We will not work with the American administration until it walks back its decisions. Since the Oslo Accords, Israel has been working to destroy agreements. If Israel is not committed to agreements, we will not be committed either.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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