Tuesday, November 24, 2020

United States seek cooperative talks with Palestinian Authority

By J.J. Rhies - May 14, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [US foreign policy]


The United States has indicated they want to continue peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, on Thursday, May 9.


PA Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, who was present at an unofficial meeting of United Nations Security Council of member states in New York last week to discuss the issue of Palestine, said the PA would not agree to the U.S.’s upcoming Israel-Palestine peace plan.


The proposal, which U.S. officials including President Donald Trump have deemed the “deal of the century,” is slated to be made public sometime shortly after the holy month of Ramadan, which ends in early June.  


Palestinian officials have publicly denounced the plan, especially in light of President Trump’s unilateral decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017.


According to Al-Maliki, the U.S. hopes to make the deal agreeable to Palestinian leaders by offering financial incentives.


But “they are mistaken,” Al-Maliki said. “The Palestinians are not ready to discuss any plan which does not include the Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital.”


Like other PA officials including President Mahmoud Abbas, Al-Maliki declared that the U.S. must reverse its position on Jerusalem.


“They have to reiterate their respect for international legitimacy and the two-state solution. If this happens, we will have no problem sitting with them,” he said.


If the U.S. doesn’t, however, the state “will not find a single Palestinian to accept” the peace proposal, The Times of Israel reported.


At the UN Security Council session, where U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt was present, Al-Maliki said: “This is not a peace plan but rather conditions for surrender and there is no amount of money that can make it acceptable.”


Greenblatt said it was “surprising and unfair” that the meeting, organised by Kuwait, Indonesia and South Africa, took place without Israel being “invited to speak,” especially because some diplomats were critical of Israel.


Greenblatt added that the members at the meeting were “obsessive” in their discussion of Israeli settlements and described the focus on settlements as a “farce” that did not bear on the possibility of Israel-Palestine peace talks.


Israeli settlements in the West Bank are in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and hence unlawful.


The U.S. has remained quiet on the details of its upcoming peace plan, but David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, has previously stated it will give Israel parts of the West Bank that international law deems “occupied territory.”


Jared Kushner, who is Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, has suggested a two-state solution is not within reach.


“If people focus on the old traditional talking points, we will never make progress. The Arab peace initiative of 2002, which I think was a very good attempt but if that would have worked it would have made peace a long time ago,” he said.


“We will do something different.”



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