Interview: PLO to reject any U.S. role for peace efforts

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-25 00:56:53|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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RAMALLAH, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) --The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) announced on Wednesday its rejection to any U.S. peace initiatives unless the U.S. administration retracts its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"The Americans can no longer serve as an honest broker in the negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel after its illegal declaration of Jerusalem," Secretary General of the Executive Committee of PLO Saeb Erekat told Xinhua in an interview.

Erekat stressed that the U.S. administration undermined the peace process by violating international law and the resolutions of the United Nations.

Meanwhile, a U.S. official announced on Tuesday that Washington hopes to put forward a plan for peace between the Palestinians and Israel in 2018 approved by the two sides.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday the timing of a long-awaited U.S. Middle East peace initiative depended on the return of Palestinians to negotiations.

U.S. President Donald Trump's Jerusalem move angered the Palestinians, sparked protests in the Middle East and raised concern among Western countries that it could further destabilise the region. Palestinians see East Jerusalem as capital of their future state.

Erekat threatened that if the U.S. actively decides to ignore international law and if other world powers allow Washington to tamper with international law, the U.S. will be forced to bear the political, legal and moral responsibility for international anarchy and "will also be disqualifying itself to play any role in any initiative toward achieving a just and lasting peace."

He pointed out that the Palestinians called on the current U.S. administration to abide by the positions of the previous U.S. administrations regarding the illegal Israeli settlement.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been halted since 2014, after nine months of U.S.-sponsored talks that have made no progress.

The Palestinian National Authority intends to upgrade its status at the United Nations and become a full state member following the US declaration on Jerusalem.

Erekat said that the United States has not fulfilled the recent agreement to halt closing the PLO office in Washington. "So, the PLO is not obligated to halt joining to any international organizations."

Erekat pointed out the recent actions by the Political Committee of the PLO, which included a recommendation to implement the request for the full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations and to continue the work in order to provide international protection for the Palestinian people.

It also includes "providing referral on various issues (settlement, prisoners, aggression on Gaza) to the International Criminal Court."

Erekat stressed the need for "active intervention and playing a role with a political weight from the world's great powers, such as China and Russia, through providing strategies, initiatives and political steps to save the peace process."

In this regard, he called for a multilateral international conference to sponsor the political process and find mechanisms to form a multi-framework for overseeing the peace process and to set a time limit for implementing the signed agreements.

Trump's move delighted Israel, Washington's closest Middle East ally, but stirred disquiet from world powers who worry it would stoke regional tensions and further drive a wedge between Israel and the Palestinians.