Saeb Erekat: “Washington has become part of the problem and not the solution”

The PLO leader met with the Swedish Secretary of Foreign Affairs in Ramallah and expressed his frustration with the US, claiming that “Washington has become part of the problem and not the solution” and that US President Donald Trump has isolated himself by doing so.
Saeb Erekat Photo Credit: Flash 90

The Palestinians will not engage in supporting the US in bringing peace to the region, Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat said during a meeting with Swedish State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Annika Söder in Ramallah yesterday, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported on Monday.

“Washington has become part of the problem and not the solution,” he said in response to the US’ decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, adding that President Donald Trump had isolated himself by choosing to do so.

Erekat’s comments come in response to Sunday’s meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During the meeting, Pompeo said that the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem “remain subject to negotiations between the parties” and that the US is committed to achieving “a lasting and comprehensive peace that offers a brighter future for both Israel and the Palestinians.”

“The US cannot be a mediator or partner in the peace process unless it withdraws its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Erekat stated, according to the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, “because it makes no sense for Palestine to be without East Jerusalem as its capital.”

“We seek a solution that guarantees resolving all of the final status issues, foremost the issue of refugees and prisoners, in accordance with relevant international resolutions,” he added. “No one will deceive us and we will not fall into the illusion that the United States can have any balanced ideas that could lead to the achievement of a real and just peace. Washington has become part of the problem and not the solution.”

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