The Palestinian leadership plans to seek recognition of statehood from the United Nations in September but would be willing to postpone the bid if peace talks restart with a clear timetable, the foreign minister in Ramallah said Monday.
Riyad Al-Maliki says the Palestinians are moving forward on the plan, but that step “can be avoided if negotiations start before September based on clear foundations and a timetable.”
Palestinian officials plan to await the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting of the Mideast Quartet, Al-Maliki said adding that the group was expected to come to a consensus that negotiations should resume.
The UN plan is opposed by Israel, the US and some European governments, and the Quartet had at first been expected to draw up a new initiative for peace talks that could persuade the Palestinians to drop the UN bid.
But the talks ended with no statement, suggesting the parties failed to come to a consensus.
Still, Al-Maliki told Ma’an the Quartet’s meeting will determine a decision to be taken by the Arab League’s higher follow-up committee, which is scheduled to convene in Cairo on Saturday.
Asked if guarantees such as timetables were being used as a ploy to thwart the September bid, Al-Maliki said the Palestinian leadership had learned its lessons from every other round of negotiations.
“Some parties try to focus on negotiations to make us avoid the September bid, while others take negotiations seriously trying to make them meaningful, and we are aware of that,” he said.
“Our position doesn’t need Netanyahu’s approval. If the international community decides negotiations should resume on a timetable, we will say yes, and if Netanyahu says no, let him take responsibility for that no.”