Egypt: “Negotiations can start only if settlements are frozen — and this continues to be our demand — or if we receive unequivocal guarantees that a Palestinian state will be erected on 1967 borders, including (Arab east) Jerusalem,” Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said.
IOA Editor: It is time to move to the ‘next level,’ now that both Mr. Obama and Madam Mouthpiece have spoken: nothing said by either suggests that any meaningful US action is forthcoming. It is time for the Palestinians and the Arab League to consider their next moves on discussions with Israel and the US. Sitting and hoping that the Obama Administration will ‘discover’ that time is of the essence, is both unrealistic and unwise.
At the same time, every day that passes allows Israel to continue its colonial program – specifically designed to prevent a viable, independent Palestinian state from becoming a reality. If anything can be learned from the past 42 years, it is that Occupation is a normal state of affairs for the ‘only democracy in the Middle East,’ and that there is no reason to assume any of this will change, unless it is stopped by outside intervention. What ‘intervention’ and how to bring it about are, indeed, the key questions.
By AFC – 5 Nov 2009
CAIRO — Egypt said on Thursday that if Israel continues to reject a freeze on Jewish settlement, then any new peace talks should be on the basis of a UN Security Council requiring it to leave the whole West Bank.
“Negotiations can start only if settlements are frozen — and this continues to be our demand — or if we receive unequivocal guarantees that a Palestinian state will be erected on 1967 borders, including (Arab east) Jerusalem,” Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said.
“If the United States gives these guarantees in writing, and (they are) backed by the international community, that is a UN Security Council resolution, then we would have accomplished what has been so hard to achieve so far,” he said.
This solution would “set the borders of the (future Palestinian) state through an international resolution, and would place east Jerusalem within the borders,” he said.
Abul Gheit was speaking a day after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held hastily arranged talks in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to clarify remarks about US policy on demanding a Jewish settlement freeze.
Clinton said at joint news conference with Abul Gheit on Wednesday that Jerusalem must be on the agenda of any Middle East peace talks. “We want to assure you that our goal is a real state, with a real sovereignty,” she said.
“There is no doubt that moving toward a state that reflects the aspirations and the rights of the Palestinian people must include all of the issues that have been discussed and mentioned by President (Barack) Obama, and that includes Jerusalem.”
Abul Gheit insisted that the issue must be solved in the interests of the Palestinian people “who then can resume negotiations (with Israel) on the basis of a Security Council resolution.”
The Palestinians have demanded that talks can resume only after a complete halt to Jewish settlements on occupied land, including Arab east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967 and annexed.