Kerry to meet today with Arab League delegates over Palestinian UN statehood bid
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat (L) talks with Arab League Chief Nabil el-Araby during their meeting at the Arab League in Cairo August 11, 2014.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
With upcoming UN vote on a resolution which would set final deadline for Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, Palestinians embark on campaign, seeking support.
On Tuesday morning, US Secretary of State John Kerry will convene with a delegation from the Arab League lead to discuss their UN Security Council resolution that sets a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.The move follows a decision by PLO and Fatah leaders on Sunday night to present the plan to the Security Council on Wednesday.The Arab League ministers, lead by its secretary general Nabil El-Arabi, will demand that the US refrain from vetoing the proposed resolution at the Security Council, the official said. He said that Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elarabi has already voiced support for the Palestinian plan.Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, who is scheduled to meet with Kerry in London ahead of the Security Council vote, said that the Palestinian goal was to seek a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, including east Jerusalem. The Palestinian leaders in Ramallah also said that the text would speak of east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state and it would ensure the rights of the refugees in accordance with UN resolution 194.Erekat said that the Palestinians were also hoping to reach an agreement with the Europeans and Americans on the wording of the proposed resolution to avoid a situation where Washington would thwart the Palestinian statehood bid. The Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riad Mansour, said that the Palestinians were currently talking to France, Britain and Germany about the proposed resolution. France has worked on a separate UNSC resolution regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which it has yet to table.On Tuesday night, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was scheduled to meet in Paris with his German and British counterparts in Paris.According to the French Foreign Ministry, the three diplomats will discuss “the initiative France is supporting in the UN Security Council in order to promote a quick resumption of the peace process."State Department officials who briefed reporters on the way to Rome said that both drafts lacked consensus at the UNSC.With regard to the two-year deadline in the Palestinian resolution, a State Department official said, “that’s not the way I think we would look at handling a very complicated security negotiation by simply mandating a flat deadline of two years. That’s just not – that’s not consistent with the conversations we had with the Israelis and the Palestinians over the course of the negotiations. So we would certainly take a different view of that particular issue.”But otherwise, it was premature to predict a US position, the official said.“If there’s a resolution that’s been tabled, we’ll analyze it and we’ll assess it and we’ll take it from there,” the official said.“We’ve never had terms of reference between the parties let alone at the Security Council, so it’s something that is obviously a significant step. And we would have to think very carefully about it if and when we were ever confronted with making a decision on that, but as I said before, we’re just not there right now,” the official said.The Palestinian leaders who met in Ramallah under the chairmanship of PA President Mahmoud Abbas authorized the PLO’s executive committee and various PA institutions to “take all necessary measures to solidify the status of the State of Palestine on the ground.”They also decided to reconsider relations with Israel that “contradict with the right of the State of Palestine to sovereignty over its lands, including all forms of coordination.”The Palestinian leaders also called for “developing all forms of peaceful and popular resistance against the occupation.” In addition, they called for an international commission of inquiry into the death of senior Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein, who died of a heart attack after an altercation with IDF soldiers north of Ramallah.Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.