PLO says it will cancel negotiations with a right-wing Israeli government
Date: 21 / 02 / 2009 Time: 14:39
Jericho - Ma'an - The Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) top
negotiator told US officials on Saturday that it will not negotiate with an
Israeli government that rejects the principle of a two-state resolution to
the Middle East conflict.
Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat made this warning during a meeting with US
Senator Joseph Lieberman and the US Consul General in Jerusalem, Jake
Walles. Lieberman, a independent from the state of Connecticut, is visiting
with a delegation of other senators and congressmen.
"Any Israeli government rejects the two-state principle and the previously
signed agreements and [rejects] pledges to halt settlements, lift the siege
and closure will not be a partner of the PLO and there will be no political
negotiations with it," said Erekat.
He said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has officially notified the US,
EU, Russia the UN and a number of Arab countries of this stance.
On Thursday right-wing Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu was formally
tasked with forming a government after coming in a strong second in
elections earlier this month. The charter of his Likud party calls for
Israel never to give up the territories it occupied in 1967.
Erekat recalled that the international Quartet of world powers (the US, EU,
UN, and Russia) refused to deal with a Palestinian unity government that
emerged after elections in 2006. The international community boycotted the
government because Hamas, the winner of the elections, does not formally
recognize Israel as a state.
He said: "In case the coming Israeli government rejected the two state
solution and signed agreements, insisting on going on with its attacks,
siege and settlement, is it going to be a partner for the Quartet? Or is it
going to announce that it's not a partner?"
He called on the Quartet not to apply a "double standard because this will
mean pushing the region into a cycle of violence, chaos, extremism and