New Palestinian PM wants to negotiate quick truce with Israel
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei said Monday he hopes to negotiate a quick truce with Israel but will not use force against Palestinian groups under any circumstances.
"I will not listen to the Americans. I will listen to our national rights," Qurei told The Associated Press in an interview, just hours after being installed as the head of an eight-member emergency Cabinet by Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.
"We will not confront, we will not go for a civil war," the new PM said. "It's not in our interest. It's not in the interest of our people, and it's not in the interest of the peace process."
Palestinian security forces will try to impose law and order, Qurei added. He said he was "not a slave to words," but would adhere to the concepts of the peace plan.
Qurei said his goal is the establishment of a Palestinian state in all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with east Jerusalem as its capital, by 2005.
"As a Palestinian, this is what I am trying to do. I am not listening to (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon, what he wants," he said.
"We accepted the road map. We will implement it," he said. "But I will not receive instructions, `be tough or be flexible.' This is my work. It's my business."
Qurei said he wants to hold truce talks quickly. "We are ready, beginning from tomorrow, to sit with them (the Israelis) to discuss reaching a comprehensive cease-fire that will not be temporary," he said.
Asked about holding talks with Sharon, Qurei said: "I will meet with him if this is essential and beneficial," adding that such a summit should be well prepared to ensure results. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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