Talks must be based on pre-67 borders

Abbas’ Speech at UNGA full text | Abbas’ Speech at UNGA – video
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PressTV – Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:8PM GMT

Acting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief Mahmoud Abbas
The acting Palestinian Authority (PA) chief has rejected a proposal by the Middle East Quartet that calls for unconditional talks with Israel, calling it unacceptable.

On Saturday, Mahmoud Abbas ruled out unconditional negotiations with Tel Aviv, arguing that the Quartet’s most recent statement failed to demand a halt to Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, the Press Association reported.

On Friday, the Quartet (Russia, the European Union, the United Nations, and the United States) called for the resumption of stalled talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority within a month so that a final peace agreement can be reached by the end of 2012.

Israel accepted the Quartet initiative, saying “it is balanced and doesn’t refer to the cessation of settlement or an Israeli withdrawal back to 1967 borders.”

The last round of Israel-PA talks broke down in 2010, shortly after the US-sponsored talks were launched in Washington, over Israel’s refusal to freeze its illegal settlement expansion projects on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and illegally annexed East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Abbas reiterated the Palestinians’ demand for the establishment of an independent state within the borders that existed prior to the 1967 occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel, and said that any talks must be based on the pre-1967 borders.

He made the remarks while speaking to reporters on the plane carrying him back from the United Nations General Assembly session in New York, where he presented a statehood proposal to the UN secretary general on Friday.

Abbas also said he expects the UN Security Council to consider the proposal in the next few weeks.

However, the US has threatened to veto the proposal at the Security Council, the powerful 15-member body that must approve UN membership.


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