PA official: We won't come to conference without declaration
Ahmed Qureia, head of team appointed to negotiate deal with Israel, says Palestinians will not show up to international peace conference unless a declaration of principles is reached. 'If document contains vague statement – it should not be composed at all', he says
Ahmed Qureia, head of the Palestinian team to negotiate a peace agreement with Israel said on Saturday that there was no way Palestinians would attend the upcoming international peace conference unless a declaration of principles was formed.
In an interview to Saudi newspaper al-Watan, Qureia was asked what the Palestinians' stance would be if a declaration of principles was not reached before the November conference to be held in Annapolis.
"If that happens, the situation won't be good, and we will have to decide between two alternatives: To go or not to go (to the conference). The content of the document is the important thing. If the document contains vague statements – it should not be composed at all", Qureia said.
The former PA prime minister added that a Palestinian state without Jerusalem or the Gaza Strip would not be considered a state to Palestinians.
"There is no point to a state without Gaza or Jerusalem. All talk about a state without Gaza or Jerusalem is empty talk and a waste of time. The state is Jerusalem, and is not complete without Gaza".
Saying that agreements could not be reached in a hurry, Qureia said the Palestinians estimated that an agreement could be reached within six months.
The former prime minister also implied that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was displaying a serious desire to reach an agreement.
"I think that as long as he has appointed a team for negotiations, it means that he wants an agreement", Qureia said.