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Palestinian official denies Saudi pressure to resume negotiations with Israel

March 1, 2018 at 11:13 pm

Executive committee member at the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), Ahmad Majdalani [Thaer Ganaim/Apaimages]

A member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee, Ahmed Majdalani, has denied reports that Saudi Arabia has put pressure on the Palestinian leadership to revive the negotiations with Israel.

Majdalani said in an interview with Quds Press on Thursday that the Saudi position on the Palestinian issue “has not changed” since the US announced its upcoming peace plan which it called “deal of the century”.

The Palestinian leader also denied media reports about an imminent return to negotiations with Israel as part of the US deal.

He pointed out that “the Palestinian leadership will not hesitate to reveal the exercise of any Arab pressure to return to negotiations”.

The Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki revealed on Wednesday that the European Union is planning to talk to the US administration to persuade it to amend the terms of what it has called “the deal of the century”.

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According to the minister the new terms will include the adoption of a two-state solution, the establishment of an independent Palestinian State within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and stopping the Israeli settlement building.

Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council 37th session in Geneva, Maliki stressed that it was time for the international community to impose its vision of peace based on ending the Israeli occupation of the land of the State of Palestine and achieving independence and freedom for its people.

The political negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel ended in March 2014, after nine months of US-sponsored talks without progress to resolve the decades-old conflict.

The Palestinian Authority has reiterated its readiness to resume negotiations with Israel, calling for a halt to settlements and a commitment to a two-state solution and that negotiations should not be open. However, Israel strongly rejects the Palestinian demand to freeze the settlements and requires Palestinians to recognize Israel as Jewish state.