Press Releases
June 28, 2007

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat welcomed the appointment of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as the Quartet’s representative. Dr. Erekat said the “appointment could be a very positive development as it signals the beginning of a serious and sustained international effort to finally solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Dr. Erekat stressed that Palestinians immediately need the following things: A resumption of final status negotiations within the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative with concrete and immediate results, a genuine freeze on Israeli settlement and Wall activity, significant reduction in Israel’s restrictions on the movement of Palestinian people and goods, economic development, institution building and good governance.

Dr. Erekat said that he is encouraged by the Quartet’s commitment to the platform of peace and is looking forward to working with Mr. Blair.

Dr. Erekat stressed that Mr. Blair will receive full support from the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who will do what he can to facilitate his work: “the Palestinians wholeheartedly support Mr. Blair’s appointment and hope that his appointment offers a genuine opportunity for peace”.

Dr. Erekat cautioned, however, that we are at “perhaps the most critical juncture in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and “time is of the essence”.

He concluded that “Palestinians and Israelis do not need any more words or fanfare; we need action.”

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