Ramallah – Secretary of the Palestinian Liberation Organization Saeb Erakat held talks in Washington on Saturday with US envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt.
The discussions focused on efforts to resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as part of the Palestinian official’s meetings he held to that end in the US capital.
Palestinian sources said that he reiterated to Greenblatt the Palestinian commitment to the two-state solution based on the 1967 border. He also demanded the need to resolve all pending files and agree on them within a negotiations framework and time deadline.
The two officials agreed to hold US-Palestinian meetings in the future to address the Palestinian stance on “final issues,” revealed the sources.
Washington has been studying the possibility of proposing a statement of principles, but the gap between the US and Palestinians seems wide due to differences on issues the Israelis have brought up, such as incitement and the payment of salaries.
The Palestinians have also been demanding that the 2002 Arab peace initiative, international resolutions and the two-state solution be the foundations of the peace process. The Americans have however not committed to the two-state solution and are instead seeking regional peace first.
Palestinian Ambassador to Jordan Atallah al-Khairy said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is leading political and diplomatic efforts aimed at preparing the conditions to breathe life into the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations based on the Arab peace initiative and two-state solution.
Abbas’ efforts are being “completely coordinated with Arab brothers, especially Jordan that is currently chairing the Arab League.”
Khairy revealed that the Palestinian leader will embark on Sunday on an African-Arab-European tour. He will take part in African summits held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and meet with several leaders from the continent.
From Ethiopia, he will head to France where he will meet with President Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him on his election as president and discuss the developments in the Middle East.
He will then travel to Tunisia to meet with its president and several senior officials.