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Riyad al-Maliki: Palestinian Demands Unchanged ahead of Peace Plan’s Unveiling

Riyad al-Maliki: Palestinian Demands Unchanged ahead of Peace Plan’s Unveiling

Friday, 10 May, 2019 - 08:00
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki
New York - Ali Barada
A few weeks ahead of the release of the largely anticipated “Deal of the Century,” a Trump administration peace plan designed to solve the decades-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki confirmed that all communication with Washington remains shut.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Maliki said the deal will be a non-starter should it fail to include East Jerusalem as a capital for an independent Palestinian state established within the 1967 armistice border.  

“They (the White House) will not find a single Palestinian that would say yes to a deal outside those parameters,” the diplomat noted, adding that US statesmen have been reaching out to the Palestinian leadership to reboot talks.

Visiting New York to partake in an extraordinary UN Security Council session addressing developments concerning the Palestinian conflict, particularly the issue of Israeli settlements, Maliki said: “What is rumored by Israeli media about the Deal of the Century--which is expected to be announced by US President Donald Trump--is just talk. We are not aware of the makeup of this plan or its details.”

When asked about media leaks exposing the content of the proposal, Maliki refused to recognize the information as fact, saying the PA “doesn’t see media giveaways as credible.”

“If the Americans believe that economic offers can tempt Palestinians to give up Jerusalem or the quest for an independent state, they are completely mistaken,” he said.

“The Palestinians are not prepared to discuss any plan that does not include an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Maliki also warned against the US administration’s propensity to let go of a two-state solution and imposing a fait accompli.

Responding to what seems like Washington backing the PA against an economic corner, he said “Palestinians do not need a single penny in international aid.”

“When a Palestine is recognized as a sovereign state, its own national capacities will enable it to thrive with an advanced economy,” Maliki stressed.

“It is an issue of principles and the right of the Palestinians to fight against oppression, not money!”

Maliki urged the Trump administration to back down from its previous recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to return to embrace international conventions for state sovereignty and a two-state solution.

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