woensdag 28 september 2011

Voorstel Kwartet: Israel wil praten, de Palestijnen stellen eisen

 

Abbas heeft de oproep te onderhandelen van Israel en het Kwartet al direct afgewezen. Nee, eerst moet Israel stoppen met bouwen op de Westoever en in Oost Jeruzalem, en al bij voorbaat de pre-1967 wapenstilstandslijn als grens accepteren. Natuuuurlijk is hij niet bereid daarvoor in ruil ook alvast te erkennen dat de miljoenen nakomelingen van de vluchtelingen in de nieuwe Palestijnse staat zullen moeten worden opgevangen (zoals de Joodse vluchtelingen in Israel) en dat de Joden een volk zijn met nationale rechten in het land. Wat betreft die vluchtelingen zei de PLO ambassadeur in Libanon onlangs nog wat zelfs de vluchtelingen die nu op de Westoever en in de Gazastrook in kampen leven, geen Palestijns staatsburgerschap zullen krijgen in een Palestijnse staat. Men wil dus wel een staat, maar die is niet voor het Palestijnse volk. Het is de absurditeit ten top. Pas wanneer de Palestijnen op dit gebied wat realistischer worden en de droom om via de vluchtelingen ook Israel in een Arabische staat te veranderen aan de kant zetten, is er een kans op vrede. 

 

RP

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Israel welcomes, PA rejects Quartet’s proposal

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=239352

 
 


Netanyahu to discuss call for agreement by end of 2012 with cabinet ministers; PA’s FM: Quartet draft is ‘incomplete.’

Israel responded positively Saturday, and the Palestinians negatively, to a formula for restarting negotiations issued by the Quartet that would place a December 2012 deadline on reaching an agreement.

“We are studying the statement, and view favorably the call for a return to direct talks,” a senior Israeli official said.

He added that the government would not respond to the proposal, which made no mention of the pre-1967 lines or Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, until Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu discussed the matter with senior cabinet ministers after returning to Israel on Monday.

The Middle East Quartet – the US, EU, Russia and the UN – has been trying for months to come up with a formula that would enable direct talks. Its formula was released on Friday afternoon, after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas formally submitted a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon seeking full UN membership.

The Quartet statement urged the parties “to overcome the current obstacles and resume direct bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations without delay or preconditions.”

Acknowledging that talks by themselves will not reestablish trust, the Quartet proposed the following: a “preparatory meeting” between the parties within a month to agree to an agenda and a “method of proceeding in the negotiation.” The two sides will commit that the objective is to “reach an agreement within a time frame agreed to by the parties but not longer than the end of 2012.”

The statement said the expectation is that the parties will come up with comprehensive proposal on territory and security with three months, and will have made “substantial progress” within six months. To facilitate this, an international conference will be held in Moscow “at the appropriate time.”

The statement also called for another donors conference to help the PA state-building efforts. In addition, “the members of the Quartet will consult to identify additional steps they can actively support towards Palestinian statehood individually and together, to secure in accordance with existing procedures significantly greater independence and sovereignty for the Palestinian Authority over its affairs.”

In what could be interpreted as a veiled reference to settlement construction, the statement continued: “The Quartet calls upon the parties to refrain from provocative actions if negotiations are to be effective. The Quartet reiterated the obligations of both parties under the road map.”

In an interview on Friday with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Netanyahu – after being asked a number of times if he would consider another settlement freeze – said that he tried that once, and it went nowhere, but added, “I am willing to talk about it.”

Even before the Quartet issued its statement, the prime minister – during his speech to the UN – called on Abbas to restart peace talks in New York.

“Let’s talk doogri [straightforward],” Netanyahu said in his speech.

“There’s an old Arab saying that you cannot applaud with one hand. Well, the same is true of peace. I cannot make peace alone. I cannot make peace without you. President Abbas, I extend my hand – the hand of Israel – in peace. I hope that you will grasp that hand,” he said.

“If you wish, I’ll come to Ramallah. Actually, I have a better suggestion. We’ve both just flown thousands of miles to New York. Now we’re in the same city. We’re in the same building. So let’s meet here today in the United Nations.

“What is there to stop us? If we genuinely want peace, what is there to stop us from meeting today and beginning peace negotiations? I’ll tell you my needs and concerns. You’ll tell me yours. And with God’s help, we’ll find the common ground of peace,” Netanyahu said.

The PA was quick to reject the Quartet’s proposal.

Its Foreign Minister Riad Malki said on Saturday that the Quartet’s initiative is “incomplete.” He pointed out that it does not call for a cessation of settlement construction or a pullout to the pre- 1967 lines.

“The only new thing that the Quartet carries is a time line for discussing the issues of security and borders,” Malki said, referring to the Quartet’s statement calling for an agreement by December 2012.

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the PA leadership would discuss the Quartet initiative in the coming days.

A number of Palestinian factions, including Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine also rejected the Quartet plan, saying it was designed to “foil” Palestinian aspirations for independence.

UN chief Ban said, “I sincerely hope that the parties will respond constructively to our statement.”

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters that there had been intense diplomatic activity in recent months to get the parties back to the negotiating table. “This has been my primary objective in the belief that through negotiations we would end the conflict,” she said.


The Palestinians, meanwhile, have their eyes set toward Monday, when the Security Council is scheduled to discuss Abbas’s application for full UN membership of a Palestinian state. It could take weeks, even months, before the matter is brought to a vote, however. While the US has pledged to veto the resolution if necessary, efforts are being made to deny the Palestinians the nine positive votes they need in the Security Council for it to be accepted and passed on to the General Assembly for a vote, so that the US won’t have to use its veto and be isolated on this issue.

Malki expressed hope that the Security Council would vote in favor of the request. He added that the PA was continuing its efforts to persuade additional countries to back the request.

Following his speech to the UN, Netanyahu gave nine interviews on Friday, three to Israeli television networks, and six to foreign networks, including ABC, BBC, Fox News and CNN. He is scheduled to give an interview to a pan-Arabic network on Sunday.

 

 

 

Barak: Despite doubts, we should adopt Quartet conditions

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=239470

 
 


During Independence Party toast to celebrate Rosh Hashana, defense minister welcomes initiative introduced by Mideast mediators; says slogans won't clarify anything, core issues need to be placed on the table.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday that Israel should adopt the new peace initiative introduced by the Quartet of Middle East mediators on Friday at the UN, even if there were reservations.

During an Independence Party toast to celebrate Rosh Hashana, Barak said "things won't be clarified by using slogans, but only by placing the core issues on the table."

Earlier on Sunday, President Shimon Peres praised the new peace initiative, saying the plan creates a new opportunity to resume direct negotiations with the Palestinians, Israel Radio reported.

Peres said that both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas had turned to their own supporters in their respective speeches to the UN General Assembly on Friday, but that no effort was made to lessen the gaps between the positions of the two sides.

"We would want a situation in which the political distance between Jerusalem and Ramallah was not greater than the geographical distance between them," he stated.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel should accept the Quartet's proposal to begin negotiations without preconditions, in an interview with Israel Radio.

He said that even though he has reservations about the proposal,  he hoped the Palestinians would respond to the initiative and begin serious dialogue with Israel.

The talks can open on any subject, Lieberman said, but from Israel's standpoint the most important issue is security. The foreign minister said he hoped the Palestinians understood that it was in their interest to focus on the political process and to postpone the vote on their statehood bid.

He warned that any one-sided move would lead to an Israeli response.

"We must be grateful to the United States for their assistance in events surrounding the embassy in Cairo and [Obama's] General Assembly speech, and we should therefore accept the International Quartet's proposal, despite reservations," Lieberman said.

"Mahmoud Abbas fled immediately after his speech, so that we could not, God forbid, negotiate," the foreign minister said. "The Palestinians make up excuses not to negotiate all the time. Those who want excuses will find them. Mahmoud Abbas continues to demand the right of return, and if a Palestinian state is established in Judea and Samaria, he will still want to send the refugees to Israeli territory ".

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had said that he would not give his opinion of the Quartet's proposal until he had returned to Ramallah and discussed its provisions with Palestinian leadership there. He reiterated the return to 1967 borders and halting of settlement construction as pre-conditions to negotiations. 

The Middle East Quartet – the US, EU, Russia and the UN – has been trying for months to come up with a formula that would enable direct talks. Its formula was released on Friday afternoon, after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas formally submitted a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon seeking full UN membership.

The Quartet statement urged the parties “to overcome the current obstacles and resume direct bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations without delay or preconditions.”

Acknowledging that talks by themselves will not reestablish trust, the Quartet proposed the following: a “preparatory meeting” between the parties within a month to agree to an agenda and a “method of proceeding in the negotiation.” The two sides will commit that the objective is to “reach an agreement within a time frame agreed to by the parties but not longer than the end of 2012.”

 

 

Here is the full Quartet statement: http://www.quartetrep.org/quartet/news-entry/quartet-sets-out-timetable-for-resumption-of-credible-negotiations/

The Quartet takes note of the application submitted by President Abbas on 23rd September 2011 which is now before the Security Council.

The Quartet reaffirmed its statement of 20th May 2011, including its strong support for the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined by United States President Barack Obama. 

The Quartet recalled its previous statements, and affirmed its determination to actively and vigorously seek a comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, on the basis of UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 1397, 1515, 1850, the Madrid principles including land for peace, the Roadmap, and the agreements previously reached between the parties. 

The Quartet reiterated its commitment to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East and to seek a comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and reaffirms the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative.

The Quartet reiterated its urgent appeal to the parties to overcome the current obstacles and resume direct bilateral Israeli -Palestinian negotiations without delay or preconditions. But it accepts that meeting, in itself, will not re-establish the trust necessary for such a negotiation to succeed. It therefore proposes the following steps:

1. Within a month there will be a preparatory meeting between the parties to agree an agenda and method of proceeding in the negotiation. 

2. At that meeting there will be a commitment by both sides that the objective of any negotiation is to reach an agreement within a timeframe agreed to by the parties but not longer than the end of 2012. The Quartet expects the parties to come forward with comprehensive proposals within three months on territory and security, and to have made substantial progress within six months. To that end, the Quartet will convene an international conference in Moscow, in consultation with the parties, at the appropriate time.

3. There will be a Donors Conference at which the international community will give full and sustained support to the Palestinian Authority state-building actions developed by Prime Minister Fayyad under the leadership of President Abbas.

4. The Quartet recognizes the achievements of the Palestinian Authority in preparing institutions for statehood as evidenced in reports to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, and stresses the need to preserve and build on them. In this regard, the members of the Quartet will consult to identify additional steps they can actively support towards Palestinian statehood individually and together, to secure in accordance with existing procedures significantly greater independence and sovereignty for the Palestinian Authority over its affairs. 

5. The Quartet calls upon the parties to refrain from provocative actions if negotiations are to be effective. The Quartet reiterated the obligations of both parties under the Roadmap.

6. The Quartet committed to remain actively involved and to encourage and review progress. The Quartet agreed to meet regularly and to task the envoys and the Quartet Representative to intensify their cooperation, including by meeting prior to the parties’ preparatory meeting, and to formulate recommendations for Quartet action.

 

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