Abbas. 'Negative speech'
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Abbas: Netanyahu speech not basis for talks

Palestinian president says prime minister's Congress address was 'negative', claiming solutions can't be presented before negotiations begin. PA will go ahead with UN recognition bid if no progress made by September, he adds

Palestinian leaders convened Wednesday to discuss the repercussions from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Congress address and US President Barack Obama's Middle East policy speech.


The meeting is being attended by members of the PLO's Executive Committee and Fatah's Central Committee.


During the meeting, Abbas noted that Netanyahu "did not say anything that we can build on positively."


The Palestinian president added that Netanyahu presented solutions before negotiations even started. He endorsed the concept of peace talks but noted that the Palestinian Authority will go ahead with its UN recognition bid should no progress be made by September.


"Our goal is not to isolate Israel nor to challenge its legitimacy," Abbas said. "This is not a unilateral act. The unilateral act is (Israeli) settlement expansion."


Abbas described Netanyahu's speech in Congress as "negative" and filled with "falsehoods and distortions" as it attempted to lay down solutions to disagreements before negotiations have started. 


He also addressed the reconciliation agreement with Hamas and noted that "it must be completed and implemented on the ground as agreed in Cairo." Abbas was referring to the establishment of an "independent" Palestinian government.


'The world will see Israel for what it is'

Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the PLO's Executive Committee, said Wednesday that "closing the doors on the peace process forces us to explore other options, especially turning to the UN General Assembly in September."


Abed Rabbo negated Obama's statement that a unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood would be a mistake on the PA's part, saying that while "negotiations were the Palestinian's strategic option," Netanyahu's speech before Congress made it clear that path was closed.


The coming Arab League summit will be used to solidify the Arab stance in the matter, he said.


He went on to condemn the prime minister's speech, saying it had only one purpose – "to annihilate any chance for an actual peace process."


Netanyahu's speech "proved beyond doubt that the occupation and settlements will continue and that the highlight of the Israeli plan is annexing Palestinian land in Jerusalem or elsewhere in the West Bank, under the pretext of security," he said.


"The world will soon see Israel for what it is, a concurring, racist entity, as the facts on the ground clearly prove," he added.


Abed Rabbo expressed his hope that "the responsible parties in the world would know to derive the right conclusions from Netanyahu's speech and will take action to stop the radical nature of the occupation."




פרסום ראשון: 05.25.11, 13:57
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