Palestine Liberation Organization
Negotiations Affairs Department
Dr. Erekat: “Quartet must restore credibility, relevance to its role”
Chief Palestinian negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat called on the Quartet to restore credibility and relevance to its role in protecting the prospects of peace in the Middle East. Ahead of the international group’s meeting, Dr. Erekat said, “Ten years ago, the Quartet was established to verse the implementation of the 'Roadmap to Peace’ that was presented as a blueprint to end the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and reach a just and lasting peace. Unfortunately, the Quartet has been unsuccessful in stopping Israel’s illegal activities, including settlement construction, which is the main Israeli obligation stipulated by the Road Map. This failure has unfortunately strengthened Israel’s culture of impunity.”
Dr. Erekat continued, “Since the Quartet was created, the Israeli settler population in the occupied Palestinian territory has increased by almost 100,000. Yet, the Quartet has not taken any concrete measure to stop this alarming trend, which the international community unanimously agrees now seriously threatens the prospects of the two-state solution. Clearly, it is time to review the group’s performance and ability to fulfill its stated goals”.
The Chief Negotiator signaled the Palestinian leadership’s appreciation for the role of the office of the Quartet in Jerusalem but stressed, “The Palestinian people will not achieve their potential without an end to the Israeli occupation. While we appreciate any attempt by the Quartet envoy to help the trickling of exports from Gaza or other actions that may make the life of our people easier in the short-term, these small steps are not advancing the stated goal of the Quartet’s roadmap.”
Dr. Erekat concluded, “For any peace talks to be successful, clear terms of references based on international law and relevant UN resolutions must be agreed on and respected and guarantees regarding implementation. Any Quartet calls for a resumption of negotiation in the absence of such basic requirements will be counterproductive and only lead to a meaningless process that is incapable of bringing about peace. Quartet members must know that the urgency of the situation cannot bear the luxury of such calls. The time is now for concrete actions that secure the two-state solution before Israeli actions makes such a goal unviable”.