London, Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat- US National Security Adviser General James Jones has conveyed to Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (Abu-Mazin) during their meeting at the presidential office in Ramallah yesterday what Saeb Erekat, head of the PLO’s negotiations department, called US President Barack Obama’s “commitment” and determination to establish an independent Palestinian state.
Erekat told Asharq al-Awsat that Jones conveyed to Abu-Mazin “President Obama’s commitment and determination to the two-state solution” and stressed that the solution of the Palestinian issue and the building of two states are the key for solving the region’s problems and establishing peace in them, promising that the United States would exert every possible effort to reach peace on the basis of the two-state solution. Erekat added that Jones “said entering into negotiations enables the US administration to help the Palestinian side” but hastened to add that “Jones did not ask Abbas to enter into negotiations without a complete cessation of settlement activity.”
It should be noted that Gen. Jones was put in charge of supervising the implementation of the understandings of the Annapolis conference of 27 November 2007, remained in the region for a long time, and knows its secrets to some extent.
According to Erekat, Jones encouraged President Abbas “to return to the negotiating table. The president replied that he was ready and willing to return to the negotiations and I have no personal preconditions but you must stop the conditions of Israeli Prime Minister (Binyamin) Netanyahu.” Abu-Mazin added to Jones: “When we call for stopping the settlements, including the natural growth and also including Jerusalem, we are not laying down conditions but demanding compliance with the roadmap clauses. When we demand the resumption of negotiations from the point at which they had stopped, this is part of Netanyahu’s obligation and not a Palestinian condition.”
As reported by Erekat, Abu-Mazin appealed to Jones “to help us by forcing Netanyahu to implement his obligations. Do not try to push us to the negotiations according to Netanyahu’s conditions.”