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US seeking contact with Palestinians

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Maliki attend the opening ceremony of Palestine's consulate general in Istanbul, on 1 August, 2017 [Berk Özkan/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Maliki attends the opening ceremony of Palestine's consulate general in Istanbul, on 1 August, 2017 [Berk Özkan/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki yesterday revealed that US officials have sent messages that they want to resume contacts with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

However, Al-Maliki said that there has been no contact with the US Administration, stressing that any contact must by proceeded by US recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, Al-Wattan Voice reported yesterday.

Al-Maliki – who is visiting New York to attend an unofficial meeting of UN Security Council member states on the Palestinian issue – said that the US thinks it can lure the Palestinians with money and they will concede Jerusalem or a future Palestinian state, Al-Wattan Voice reported, citing Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

“They are mistaken,” Al-Maliki said. “The Palestinians are not ready to discuss any plan which does not include the Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital.”

He also called on US officials to cancel their decision regarding Jerusalem: “They have to reiterate their respect for international legitimacy and the two-state solution. If this happens, we will have no problem sitting with them.”

When asked whether it was logical that Palestinians have preconditions to sit with the US, Al-Maliki answered: “Why not? Who is seeking the other? It is the Americans who are trying to sit with us!”

Meanwhile, the foreign minister stressed that Arab states do not put pressure on the PA but “respect our positions and pass them to the US Administration”. Regarding Egypt and Saudi Arabia, he said that they completely adopt the Palestinian positions and say: “We will accept whatever you accept and we will reject whatever you reject.”

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