'Great tragedy.' Michael Oren
Photo: AP

'PA statehood vote to risk bilateral agreements'

Unilateral recognition bid at UN could jeopardize existing security, economic arrangements between Palestinian Authority and Israel, United States, says Israeli Ambassador to US Michael Oren in interview with Foreign Policy magazine

Israel's Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren said Tuesday that if the Palestinians further their statehood bid at the United Nations in September, it might jeopardize all existing agreements between the Palestinian Authority and the United States and Israel.


In an interview with Foreign Policy magazine, Oren said, "We have a lot of agreements with the Palestinian Authority, we have no agreements with a ‘Government of Palestine.'


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"It's just a fact – we have no agreements with a ‘Government of Palestine.' It puts us in a different realm," said Oren, adding that the move would render invalid economic treaties, including export, import and water sharing, as well as security cooperation agreements.


The Israeli ambassador stressed that Palestinian agreements with the United States are also at risk: "America is a cosignatory to the Oslo Accord and this would seriously undermine it...Unilateral steps would have legal, economic, and political ramifications for us and for America as a cosignatory."


'US, Israel see eye to eye'

Commenting on the Middle East Quartet's attempt to push the sides back to the negotiations table by issuing a statement that would affirm Israel as a Jewish state and determine a Palestinian state in 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, Oren said the effort won't solve the problem.


"There is no guarantee that even if the Quartet members succeed in putting out a common position on negotiations that that will in any way divert the Palestinians from their intention of declaring a Palestinian state unilaterally," he told the magazine, adding that Jerusalem and Washington are "working for similar goals and see very much eye to eye" on the issue.


According to Oren, the statehood declaration will provide the Palestinian Authority with "lawfare" against Israel in the international arena, which will further diminish the chances for reaching a negotiated agreement.


"We want to be able to negotiate but we won't be able to negotiate if they are attacking our legitimacy in every international court. We're not going to negotiate under fire and it's a mistake for the Palestinians to think that we would," the ambassador said.


Oren warned that in the absence of a negotiated solution, Israel's support for the creation of a Palestinian state might be jeopardized. "The Palestinians risk all that has been achieved if they go forward with this ... and that would be a great tragedy."




פרסום ראשון: 08.31.11, 19:49
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