Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Wednesday that recent comments by Arab League officials did not represent an opening for peace talks if Israel did not agree to a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.
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On Monday, Arab League officials told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden that the league was still committed to the plan it proposed in 2002. After signing a peace treaty based on the 1967 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, all Arab nations would normalize relations with Israel.
“Netanyahu has to say 1967," Erekat told Nazareth-based Radio Ashams. "If he doesn’t say that, there’s nothing to talk about. For us, what the Arab League delegation presented in Washington is no different from the official Palestinian position."
Erekat noted that the Palestinian Authority had negotiated in the past based on the 1967 borders and had been willing to adjust 5 percent to 7 percent of the border.
“We don’t see that as recognition of the settlement blocs, as some commentators on both sides try to interpret it. For us, every stone in the settlements constitutes a violation of international law, so it's impossible to talk about Palestinian consent regarding the settlements," he said.
"Our position is clear: As long as Netanyahu does not say the number 1967, there’s nothing to talk about. Maybe he needs to undergo psychological therapy to utter that number.”
A senior Palestinian official close to the talks told Haaretz that the Palestinian position on resuming negotiations was clear. This position was expressed to the Americans during President Barack Obama’s visit to Ramallah in March, and during meetings between Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbbas.
The official said that for the PA, this was an opportunity for Kerry to present an option that would lead to the resumption of talks based on the 1967 borders.