Saeb Erekat
Photo: AP
PA: 1967 lines or statehood declaration
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat backs Mideast policy speech given by Barack Obama, which urges return to 1967 borders with land exchanges, but in a new twist says nothing of halting West Bank settlement activity

The Palestinians demanded Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accept a US initiative to return to the 1967 lines, the Washington Post reported.


Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat announced in Washington Tuesday that his government was willing to suspend a UN bid for statehood declaration and renew peace talks if Israel accepts the plan for withdrawal to the '67 lines, laid out in a Mideast policy speech by US President Barack Obama.



Erekat met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as other White House officials. The Post quoted him as saying that peace talks must be based on return to the aforementioned borders with exchanges of territory, as enumerated by Obama.


The main difference to former Palestinian demands was that Erekat did not demand Israel freeze West Bank settlement activity as a precondition to talks.


The negotiator says that unless Netanyahu declares he is willing to return to the 1967 lines with mutual exchanges of land, the peace talks will remain at an impasse and the Palestinian Authority will go ahead with its declaration of statehood at the UN General Assembly in September.


The bid will begin to take form on July 15, Erekat said during his speech, given at a conference on the Middle East held by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy.



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