Quraya seeks help on Sharon plan

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Quraya has written to world leaders urging them to convene a conference to restart Middle East peace talks and offset what he calls US concessions to Israel.

    Quraya accuses US and Israel of breaking international law

    Quraya on Sunday accused the United States of breaking international law by making "concessions" in support of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate the Gaza Strip.

    Palestinians reacted angrily when President George Bush said Israel could expect to keep chunks of the West Bank seized in the 1967 Middle East war under any final peace deal. He also ruled out a return for Palestinian refugees to Israel.

    "The US and Israeli positions contravene international law, as well as past agreements between the parties to which the international community bore witness," he wrote.

    "We ask ... you to support the call for an international conference to approve the framework, the timetable and the principles to resume permanent status negotiations immediately"

    Ahmad Quraya,
    Palestinian Prime Minister

    "We ask ... you to support the call for an international conference to approve the framework, the timetable and the principles to resume permanent status negotiations immediately."

    Palestinian anger at the United States soared further after Israel's assassination of Abd Al-Aziz al-Rantisi, a top leader of the Hamas resistance movement. Quraya made no mention of that in his letter.

    Bush's statement and al-Rantisi's assassination were viewed by many Palestinian officials as a deadly blow to any resumption of negotiations, but Quraya wrote the leadership remained committed to peace talks.

    Quraya's letter was sent to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as well as leaders of the European Union, Russia, China and Japan. Quraya plans to send a separate letter to Bush.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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