Feb. 18, 2016
- Have the Palestinians Renounced the Peace Process? – Alan Baker
Riyad Malki, the minister for foreign affairs of the Palestinian Authority, announced in Tokyo on February 15: “We will never go back and sit again in a direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiation.” This is all the more ironic since it is Israel that is being accused and held responsible for obstructing the return to a negotiating mode, whether by the French foreign minister, the U.S. State Department or the EU leadership.
Malki’s declaration runs solidly against Yasser Arafat’s solemn commitment in his letter dated September 9, 1993, to prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, according to which: “The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process and to the peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved by negotiation.”
This official announcement by the Palestinian foreign minister should be considered a clear violation of all Palestinian commitments so far, and possibly as a fundamental breach of the Oslo Accords. One might hope that all those senior politicians and foreign ministers who consider themselves involved in the Middle East peace process will demand solid, public reassurance by the Palestinian leadership that the Palestinians have not given up the option to solve the dispute through negotiation. The writer participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords and served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Jerusalem Post)