Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Reuters
Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat
Photo: AFP

Erekat: Netanyahu only interested in PR

Senior Fatah official tells Ynet he's had enough of prime minister's empty declarations

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat, who is currently in New York ahead of the Palestinian United Nations bid, dismissed Tuesday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call for a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN.


Speaking to Ynet, Erekat criticized Netanyahu, saying: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to understand that PR is not policy."


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"Why does Abbas need to meet with Netanyahu? Just for the sake of meeting?" said. "The only thing we have seen from Netanyahu is PR meant to serve the media's need for an evening news headline."


Erekat added that the Palestinians will not be willing to cooperate with this Israeli policy: "I had hoped that Netanyahu would come here and declare his recognition of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel. Enough already with these empty declarations of 'let's meet'."


  • For full coverage of PA's statehood bid, click here  


Erekat said that the Palestinian leadership was interested in actions in order to infuse content into a meeting between the two leaders.


"Let Netanyahu come and say that he recognizes a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and that he will halt settlement construction, and then the meeting will have meaning," he said. 


Jerusalem believes that the Palestinians have acquired the needed majority of nine countries that would support the declaration of a Palestinian state after Gabon, Nigeria and Portugal made their stance public. Bosnia, another swing state, will most likely abstain.


Erekat said that he did not know exactly how many countries would support the Palestinian UN bid in the Security Council, "but I can say that I hope the countries will recognize us in order to maintain the principle of two states living side by side peacefully. The countries must be brave and vote for peace."


Earlier, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki urged the US to change its stance in accordance with the majority and support the Palestinian UN statehood bid. "We are still unsure about how to act with regards to the US; we hope they will reconsider their stance," al-Maliki said during a meeting in New York with his colleague from Venezuela Nicolás Maduro.


The Palestinians have said that China, Russia, Lebanon, South Africa, Brazil and India would support their bid in the Security Council. With Gabon and Nigeria's expected support – the Palestinians will have a two-thirds majority, which will force the US to use its veto power.




פרסום ראשון: 09.20.11, 19:02
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