Abbas: PA Ready for Negotiations Once Annexation Plan Halted
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he is ready to resume stalled peace talks with Israel once it halts the annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank.
His remarks were made on Wednesday in a telephone call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in which he affirmed that resumed negotiations will be based on international resolutions and through the mediation of the International Quartet.
Abbas also hailed Britain’s position that supports achieving peace based on international legitimacy and rejects the annexation plan.
Johnson affirmed the UK’s commitment to the two-state solution and the implementation of UN resolutions, as well as his rejection of any measures taken by Israel to annex Palestinian lands.
He stressed the importance of reviving the peace process, adding that his country will continue to support peace.
Abbas’s announcement comes in light of efforts exerted by several countries to push the negotiations as an alternative to a possible confrontation once Israel annexes parts of the West Bank.
According to a letter sent to the international peacemaking Quartet (European Union, United Nations, Russia and the United States) earlier this month, Palestinians are “ready to resume direct bilateral negotiations where they stopped” in 2014.
“We are ready to have our state with a limited number of weapons and a powerful police force to uphold law and order,” it said, adding that it would accept an international force such as NATO, mandated by the UN, to monitor compliance with any eventual peace treaty.
The text also proposed “minor border changes that will have been mutually agreed, based on the borders of June 4, 1967”, when Israeli forces occupied the West Bank.
Israel has not yet implemented the annexation plan that was scheduled for early July due to internal disputes over the plan, and with the United States as well, and a growing large international opposition.
According to the European Union Representative to Palestine Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, the EU won’t recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied since 1967.