Abbas to Netanyahu: Respond favorably to Palestinian peace plan or we return to UN
Abbas gave the PM a month to respond to the Palestinian positions, which will be laid out in a letter to be delivered to Netanyahu next Wednesday during a Jerusalem meeting with Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad.
The Palestinian Authority will renew its efforts to win UN recognition for a Palestinian state if it does not receive a positive response from Israel to its positions on a prospective peace deal, PA President Mahmoud Abbas told an unofficial Israeli delegation on Sunday.
Abbas gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a month to respond to the Palestinian positions, which will be laid out in a letter to be delivered to Netanyahu next Wednesday during a meeting in Jerusalem with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
"It won't be just a letter," Abbas said, according to a source who was present at the meeting. "I also intend to turn to the public in Israel and around the world, and present the Palestinian positions regarding a peace agreement with Israel."
Abbas said he would not wait until after the U.S. presidential elections in November, which he said U.S. administration officials had requested, before asking the UN General Assembly to upgrade the Palestinian Authority from "observer" status to that of a state without full membership in the United Nations.
"In another month the picture will become clearer," a source quoted Abbas as saying. "If I don't receive a positive response from Netanyahu, I will resume the UN process and ask the UN General Assembly to receive the status of a nonmember state."
Abbas made the comments in a meeting with former Meretz chairman Yossi Beilin and others involved in promoting the Geneva Initiative, an unofficial 2003 proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.
The PA president "told us he was determined to rock the boat, because the present situation cannot continue," one of the meeting's participants said.
Abbas discussed Beilin's recent article in Foreign Policy magazine, in which Beilin - one of the architects of the Oslo Accords - wrote in an open letter to Abbas that he should dismantle the Palestinian Authority's institutions and declare an end to the Oslo process. Abbas said PA officials have discussed dismantling the Palestinian Authority and that the issue will rise again if the Palestinians resume seeking UN membership.
Abbas pledged during the meeting that the Palestinians will continue to cooperate with Israel on security matters as long as he is in office, and that PA leaders will continue to try to prevent violence.