PLO’s Erekat Clarifies Deadline Comment

YERUSHALAYIM -

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat has issued a clarification of a statement atributed to him in the media recently that the Palestinians would be willing to extend peace talks with Israel past the nine-month deadline set by the U.S., which is in April 2014.

Erekat told the PA’s Voice of Palestine radio that the PA was opposed to any extension of the deadline, claiming that he had been “misunderstood.”

“I said that if we reach an agreement on all the final-status issues, we could continue the talks to discuss the details,” Erekat now says.

Mohamed Subeih, the PA envoy to the Arab League, told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that Secretary of State John Kerry would present the Israelis and Palestinians with a written framework agreement at the end of this month.

The agency quoted a senior Palestinian official as summarizing the PA stance on final-status issues:

No to the presence of any Israeli soldier in the Jordan Valley.

No to a demilitarized state.

No to any deal that does not include all of eastern Yerushalayim as the capital of a Palestinian state.

No to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

No to any interim agreement.