October 31, 2000 Special Dispatch No. 148

Palestinian Conditions for Resuming Negotiations

October 31, 2000
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 148

Two leading Palestinian negotiators, Minister of Planning and International Cooperations Nabil Sha'ath and Palestinian Legislative Council Chairman Ahmad Qurei', aka "Abu Alaa," discussed the Palestinian conditions for resuming negotiations with Israel. The primary precondition for a Palestinian return to negotiations is a fundamental change in both the framework and the basis of the negotiations.

PA Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Nabil Sha'ath said that Arafat would go to Washington if invited by the president, but he "will not participate in any trilateral summit with the prime minister of Israel." Sha'ath clarified that the Palestinians will not accept anything but "a full withdrawal to the 1967 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian state. We are not willing to discuss any alternative."[1]

Palestinian Legislative Council Chairman, Ahmad Qurei', aka "Abu Alaa," stated: " is impossible to return to the framework of the previous negotiations. There must be an international framework [for the negotiations] or an international conference with the participation of the relevant parties in addition to the US, the European Union, Russia, China, the UN and the relevant Arab states. Such a conference has to emphasize the sources of authority to the peace process and first and foremost the Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 194, as well as the principle of land for peace.

It does not suffice that the international framework for the negotiations or the international conference emphasize the above mentioned sources of authority. They also have to establish mechanism for their implementation and give guaranties for that implementation. Also, such a conference should reach a comprehensive and permanent solution to all the issues on all fronts."[2]

According to 'Abu Alaa,' "The latest events prove the strategic importance of stability in the Middle East for the interests of the whole world, since commentators have discussed at length a $3.50 rise in oil prices within two hours of the bombing of Ramallah and Gaza by Israeli forces. If the interests of the world, its economic development, its welfare and stability are so connected to the Middle East, it is [only] logical that all the main forces in the world use their influence in an international conference in a framework that should be called 'arbitration' in order to establish stability in this area of the world. He who has interests must play a role [in the peace process]."[3]

[1] Al-Quds (Palestinian), October 30, 2000.

[2] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), October 31, 2000.

[3] Al-Quds (PA), October 31, 2000.

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