PNA: Success of Summit Depends on Israel’s Halt of Hostilities, Agreement to Inquiry Commission
By Izzat Ramini
Albawaba.com – Ramallah
The Palestinian National Authority said it has agreed to attend the Sharm el-Sheikh summit because it is seeking a halt in the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, without commitment on the part of the Palestinians to stop the Intifada, according to Yasser Abd Rabbo, minister of culture and information at a press conference in Ramallah on Saturday.
Abd Rabbo added that the PNA had consulted its allies beforehand and linked the success of the summit to a halt in the Israeli attacks, lifting the siege imposed on the Palestinian territories and the formation of an international commission of inquiry.
Rabbo stressed that the Palestinian leadership would not have consented to take part in the meeting, scheduled for Monday, if there had been no guarantees from the participating international parties that the Palestinian conditions will be met.
The minister stressed, meanwhile, that the PNA has given no promises to end the Intifada.
“The Intifada has not stopped, but its form has changed and it will continue in several ways,” he told reporters, adding that “the Palestinian people and their leadership are not fond of free battles.”
In response to a question by Albawaba.com about the impact of Sharm el-Sheikh summit on the forthcoming Arab summit, Abd Rabbo said that the Palestinian look at the Arab leaders’ meeting as guarantee for the “protection of Jerusalem, the holy sites and the Palestinian legitimate rights.”
The minister said that there is no set agenda for the summit, which will be attended, apart from Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, by US President Bill Clinton, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in addition to the host, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Abd Rabbo said that the Palestinians had also called for the participation of the EU and Russia.
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