‘Palestinians still want Quartet-brokered peace with Israel’ 15Apr11 April 16, 2011

Haaretz -  15 April 2011

The top Palestinian diplomat at the United Nations said the Palestinians still want the Quartet of Mideast mediators to agree on the outlines of a final peace settlement proposed by key European nations.

The comments by Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN observer, came as the Palestinians are pursuing the separate strategy of asking the United Nations to recognize their independence at a vote in the annual General Assembly gathering in September.

They won an important endorsement Thursday when key donor states meeting in Brussels said that the institutions developed by the Palestinian Authority are now “above the threshold for a functioning state.” The donors, who give the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year, cited reports prepared by the World Bank, the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.

Nevertheless, Mansour told The Associated Press in an interview late Thursday that the Palestinians still were prepared to go back to talks with Israel. The latest U.S. attempt to restart negotiations broke down in September, only weeks after being launched.

Mansour said “the Palestinian leadership have indicated willingness to go back to negotiations” with Israel if the Quartet — made up of the U.S., U.N., European Union and Russia — agreed on the outlines of a settlement proposed by Britain, France and Germany.

That proposal was supposed to be discussed Friday in Berlin, but the United States canceled the meeting because the Obama administration didn’t think it would help restart the talks.

But, the Palestinian envoy said in reference to the Quartet, “we want them to play an active role.”

He added: “we want them to adopt parameters as a contribution to removing obstacle (cq) from the path of going back to direct negotiations, and we hope that the Quartet would succeed in doing so as soon as possible.”

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