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Monday, December 05, 2011

And again: PA rejects direct talks with Israel

The 'Palestinian Authority' has given its answer to Leon Panetta: Once again it has rejected direct talks with Israel.
The Palestinian Authority reiterated Sunday its opposition to holding direct peace talks with Israel and pointed out that the Quartet members – the US, EU, UN and Russia – had called for separate negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

The PA’s announcement came in response to remarks by US State Department spokesman Mark Toner, who said last Friday that Israel and the Palestinians must start direct talks before there can be any negotiation on borders and security.

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat expressed surprise at Washington’s call for direct talks.

He said that the Quartet called last September for separate talks with the two parties, during which Israel and the Palestinians would present their positions on security and borders.

Erekat said that the Palestinians have since complied with the Quartet’s demands and presented their positions on the two issues.

“Now the spokesman of the US State Department is talking about face-to-face talks, but this is contrary to what the Quartet had requested,” Erekat told the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds daily newspaper.

The PLO official said that the Palestinians would agree to face-to-face talks only when Israel halts all settlement construction and accepts the pre-1967 lines as the borders of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.
And the 'Palestinian Authority' is trying to do the most important thing of all: Avoid the blame for the talks' failure.
“The Americans are trying to put the blame on the Palestinians for the continued stalemate in the peace process, ignoring the fact that the Palestinian Authority has been cooperative with the Quartet’s efforts,” said one official. “How can the Obama administration call for direct talks in contradiction to the position of the Quartet?” Another PA official claimed that the presidential elections in the US were a major factor in Obama’s decision to refrain from exerting any pressure on the Israeli government.
Aren't you glad that Obama is leading the quartet from behind? What could go wrong?

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