PLO: Israel Still Not Committed to ‘Roadmap’
PLO Executive Committee: Israel Still Not Committed to ‘Roadmap’
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee slammed the Israeli position during the Sharm el-Sheikh and Aqaba summits, saying it proved that Israel is still not completely committed to the implementation of the “roadmap”.
During the meeting, which was headed by President Yasser Arafat on Friday at his battered headquarters in Ramallah, the committee discussed the results of the Sharm el-Sheikh and Aqaba summits, which focused on pushing forward the peace process and the implementation of the internationally adopted “roadmap” for peace.
Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) gave an overview of the meetings held between him and US President George Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.
The Executive Committee expressed their appreciation to the Arab countries for their positions during the summits, which reiterated their support to the Palestinian people and the achievement of their national rights.
The Palestinian leadership also highlighted President Bush’s commitment to implementing the “roadmap” and his call for the “establishing an independent Palestinians state, solving the refugees problem, and advancing the relations with the Palestine National Authority (PNA) on all levels.”
In his speech, Bush said he was determined to carry on with his vision of a two-state solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
"The Holy Land must be shared between the State of Palestine and State of Israel living in peace with each other and with every nation of the Middle East,” Bush said at the conclusion of the Aqaba summit Wednesday.
The meeting also discussed the statement presented by Ariel Sharon after the conclusion of the Aqaba summit.
The Israeli premier “presented the so-called Israeli reservations to the’ roadmap’ and tried to absolve his commitment to the complete halting of settlement activities, and used methods of manipulation when he announced the beginning of dismantling some random rouge outposts.”
The continuation of Israeli terror and violence against the Palestinian people “also reveals that the real agenda of the Israeli government is to try sabotage the roadmap,” the PLO’s highest decision-making body said.
“The Israeli aggression on the ground shows that Israel has not yet proven its commitment to the ‘roadmap,” it stressed.
During the Aqaba summit PM Abbas pledged a clear-cut Palestinian commitment to the obligations of the internationally-adopted plan.
However, Israeli PM Sharon’s pledge and message to the Palestinian people was reluctant and vague.
He did not pledge Israel’s support to the “roadmap” but to the “steps of the roadmap ‘as adopted by the Israeli government’” and not as adopted by the international “Quartet” of peace mediators representing the US, UN, EU and Russia.
The leadership also welcomed the appointment of a special US envoy to monitor the implementation of the “roadmap” according to a specific timetable and called on the US to pressure Israel to change its “dangerous position”, which puts at risk the implementation of “roadmap”.
US assistant secretary of state for non-proliferation John S. Wolf will lead a team of monitors to the Middle East to help the Palestinians and Israelis fulfill their obligations under the “roadmap” peace plan, and to publicize it when either side falls short of their responsibilities.
The Palestinian leadership has called many times for the deployment of international observers to the region, arguing that only outside monitors could hold Israel accountable to the world for its promises to withdraw from reoccupied territory.
In another issue, the PLO executive committee called for putting an end to the siege imposed on President Arafat, and the release of Palestinian detainees.
It also stressed the importance of the Palestinian national unity and continuing national dialogue, which takes in consideration Palestinian national interests.