Abbas - Temporary borders will be final ones
Photo: Reuters
Olmert - no comment
Photo: GPO

Abbas rejects concept of state with provisional borders

'Temporary border will become final ones,' says Palestinian president, also tells lawmakers he will not reconcile with Hamas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday rejected the concept of a provisional Palestinian state, concerned that temporary borders of such an entity would become permanent.


Abbas told Palestinian lawmakers that during last week's Mideast summit in Annapolis, Maryland, the idea of a provisional state was brought up, but he turned it down - though it is a key part of the internationally backed ''road map'' formula for creating a Palestinian state.


In the meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Abbas also rejected talks with the Islamic militant Hamas unless it relinquishes control of Gaza first. Hamas overran Gaza in June, expelling forces loyal to Abbas.


Abbas said that at the Annapolis summit presided over by US President George W. Bush, ''There was talk about a state with provisional borders. We reject provisional borders, because these (borders) will be final.''


In their joint declaration, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas agreed that the 2003 ''road map'' plan would be a basis for resuming peace negotiations. The first talks under the new framework are set for next Wednesday.


The second step of the three-stage road map states calls for ''creating an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty.'' Creating temporary borders would allow the Palestinians to have independence, while giving the sides more time to work out contentious issues like the final status of disputed Jerusalem. However, Palestinian leaders disowned the idea shortly after the plan was put forward, reflecting concern that the temporary borders would never be changed.


Israeli officials had no comment on Abbas' remarks.


Abbas told the lawmakers the Palestinians would not agree to a new demand that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Olmert made that demand shortly before the Annapolis summit.


Abbas said recognizing Israel as a Jewish state would ''negate the rights of 1.5 million Palestinians who live there,'' referring to Israel's Arab minority, which makes up 20 percent of its population.


פרסום ראשון: 12.06.07, 20:04
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