Region | Palestinian Territories

PLO to drop land swap formula from talks

Member of PLO Executive Committee says the formula was only mere talk by Israelis, mediators

  • By Nasouh Nazzal, Correspondent
  • Published: 20:32 November 14, 2011
  • Gulf News

Ramallah: The Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) announced on Monday that it will very soon drop the "land swap" formula, which the it branded as a grave mistake that was included in any agreement with Israel.

Speaking to Gulf News, Tayseer Khalid, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said that the formula was only mere talk by Israelis and mediators. "We have never signed an agreement with Israel, which states any shape of land swap formula," he added. "Land swap formula is a heresay in the track of negotiations," he said.

The Palestinians should have reached agreements on the borders and arranged for the withdrawal of Israeli troops and handled the other core issues before the land swap formula is addressed, he said. "It is time for this mistake to get corrected," he stressed.

Khalid also said the PLO believes that the recent setback at the UN Security Council was not the end of the road for the leadership and that other moves are on the PLO agenda.

"We will seek a non-member state status for Palestine at the UN General Assembly as per the European proposal (Sarkozy Plan)," he said.

A UN General Assembly resolution highlighting the two-state solution formula, the need to resolve the core issues, upgrading the status of Palestine to a non-member state, and the right of Palestine to be admitted to all the UN agencies will be an effective tool in the Palestinian hands when they return to the UN Security Council to seek full UN membership," he explained.

"Armed with a resolution from the UN General Assembly will be the ideal timing and position for the Palestinians to return to the UN Security Council seeking full UN membership," he said.

"The PLO totally rejects all the conciliatory formulas offered by the Mideast Quartet, where there is no room even to consider them," he said. The Quartet is proposing conciliatory formulas including a Palestinian recognition of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people in exchange for a construction freeze in the West Bank colonies.

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