The Palestinian Authority (PA) has urged the so-called Middle East Quartet to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders as the foursome plans to meet later this week.
“We call on the international Quartet take an historic decision to recognize the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders at its next meeting on February 5 in Munich," AFP quoted PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat as saying on Tuesday.
"In order to bring security and stability in the Middle East, we must drain the swamp that is the Israeli occupation, which is the sole cause of all problems in the region," he said.
But those same rights must be recognized for the Palestinians as well, the Palestinian diplomat urged, referring to prevalent anti-government protests underway in Egypt and other Arab nations and the growing calls for democracy and human rights in the Middle East.
The Middle East Quartet — which comprises of Russia, the European Union, the United Nations and the United States — is scheduled to convene on Saturday to discuss ways of reviving US-sponsored Israeli-PA negotiations which broke off last year.
The talks collapsed three weeks after they were launched on September 2 in Washington due to Israel’s refusal to extend a partial, temporary freeze on its illegal settlement construction on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.
The unrelenting settlement expansions prompted PA negotiators to quit the disputed talks already overshadowed by fears that the negotiations closely monitored by the US could end up in more concessions on behalf of Washington’s protégé and closest Mideast ally.
Eight South American countries have recognized an independent Palestinian state including both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with a capital in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) — all occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967.
Meanwhile in Europe, six countries have upgraded the status of PA diplomatic delegations to that of a mission — one notch below embassy.