Palestinian negotiator rejects claims of back door deals with Israel

January 27th, 2011 - 2:51 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan.27 (ANI): The Palestine Liberation Organization’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, has described the leak of confidential memos documenting a decade of Middle East peace talks as a “slander campaign”.

He also insisted that no single concession will be agreed without a comprehensive agreement with Israel, whose colonisation of Palestinian land is the “only constant”.

Writing in The Guardian, Erekat rebuffed accusations that he has been involved in “backdoor dealings” with Israel, but failed to repeat his previous claim that the documents - obtained by Al-Jazeera TV and shared with the Guardian - are “a pack of lies”.

He said a lesson should be drawn from the documents, and that is that the Palestinians are serious about peace.

“What should be taken from these documents is that Palestinian negotiators have consistently come to the table in complete seriousness and in good faith, and that we have only been met by rejection on the other end,” he writes.

He adds: “Conventional wisdom, supported by the press, has allowed Israel to promote the idea that it has always lacked a partner. If it has not been before, it should now be painfully obvious that the very opposite is true. It is Palestinians who have lacked, and who continue to lack, a serious partner for peace.”

He underlines that any solution agreed in negotiations must pass a Palestinian national referendum - though the documents reveal him admitting that it will not be possible to hold a vote outside the West Bank and Gaza, which would leave millions of refugees in Jordan and Lebanon unable to take part. (ANI)

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