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Veteran politician says no return to negotiations without a halt to settlements and recognition of June 1967 borders

February 17, 2014 at 11:15 pm

A senior member of the PLO’s Executive Committee has stressed that the organisation will not return to the negotiating table without a complete halt to Israeli settlement activity and the recognition of the June 1967 borders as the basis of an independent Palestinian state. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi noted that the PLO “reserves the right to go to the United Nations, the Security Council, the General Assembly and all international institutions to which it is affiliated”, adding that it has coordinated its stand with various parties, states and European friends.

In a statement to Voice of Palestine Radio, Dr. Ashrawi called on Europe to play a more independent and effective political role in the Middle East. There is a need, she said, to find radical and urgent solutions and not to deal with Israel as it is a state that puts itself above the law.

“The weakness of the European role, the domination of the United States on the political process and its absolute support of Israel, as well as the neutralised role of the United Nations,” said Dr. Ashrawi, “have encouraged the occupying power to continue to create ‘facts on the ground’ and foil international efforts to push the political process forward.” She included the recent exploratory talks in Amman among those failures.

The veteran Palestinian politician and negotiator condemned the continuous Israeli and American threats against the Palestinians, saying that, “The Israeli government has proved that it is an extremist government and is not committed to peace. Israel must prove to the international community that it is a peace-making partner.”