The Palestinian Authority on Saturday slammed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's criticism of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' consent to hold peace talks with Israel, saying he does not represent the Iranian people.
In an unprecedented attack, which followed Ahmadinejad's challenging of Abbas' legitimacy as president, the Palestinian Authority accused Ahmadinejad's of forging the presidential elections which took place in June 2009.
Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said that Ahmadinejad does not represent the Iranian people, having "falsified the elections (he) took power by fraud, and has no right to talk about Palestine, its chairman or his representatives.
"President Abbas was elected in a free election, in the presence of more than a thousand international observers… We defend our national rights and our national interests and we will not allow anyone to threaten us or call into question the legitimacy of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headed by President Abbas," said Rudeina's statement.
The statement was released just as Abbas arrived in Tripoli to update Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on the first round of re-launched peace negotiations in Washington.
Friday saw Ahmadinejad speak in Tehran against the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks: "We ask (the Palestinians), who will negotiate? Who does Abbas represent? Who gave him the mandate to negotiate in behalf of the Palestinians? What will they talk about – Palestine? Who has the right to surrender parts of Palestine to the enemy?"
The Iranian president further said he believed the negotiation were doomed from the start. "The fate of Palestine will be determined in Palestine via Palestinian resistance, not in Washington."
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