Erekat: Netanyahu must accept Obama peace guidelines for talks to resume
Chief negotiator Palestinians share the same principles laid out by U.S. President, including 1967 borders as basis for future Palestinian state.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must accept U.S. President Obama's vision for Mideast peace if talks with the Palestinian Authority are to resume, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Sunday.
Erekat's comments came in response to Israel's rejection of the U.S. president's support of a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, with Netanyahu saying that such a move would make Israel's borders "indefensible."
Earlier Sunday, Netanyahu's top security adviser, Yaakov Amidror, reiterated the objection to a return to 1967 borders, saying that those borders would leave "too many Israelis out of Israel."
Speaking to the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA on Sunday, Erekat said that an Israeli acceptance of Obama's guidelines was essential if stalled negotiations were to resume, saying that as far as the Palestinians were concerned peace talks "actually aim at realizing this [Obamas'] objective, the establishment of the independent Palestinian state with these borders, along with swap of territories."
"Now, Erekat said, "we would like to hear from Netanyahu about his stance regarding this principle, declared by President Obama."
As a sign of what he said was Israel's rejection to the principles stated in Obama's speech, Erekat slammed the Israeli decision to approve 1,500 homes in East Jerusalem ahead of his travel to the U.S. last Friday.
Referring to Netanyahu's planned speech before AIPAC, the powerful U.S. pro-Israel lobby, Erekat said: "If Netanyahu continues to reject the theme of establishing two independent states, it will be senseless to continue the talk about peace."
"The recognition of the Palestinian state is a sovereign issue for every state," he added.