Abbas: US should not have veto over quartet decisions

Arab World Materials 3 July 2011 00:45 (UTC +04:00)

The United States should not have the power to veto decisions by its partners in the quartet for Middle East peace, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday in a radio interview, dpa reported.

The quartet, which also includes the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, is expected to meet in Washington on July 11 to discuss ways to revive the deadlocked Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

Abbas said in an interview to Voice of Palestine radio that the quartet should adopt clear terms of reference for the negotiations, adding that "it is not right that three members agree on everything then the US comes and vetoes them."

While he was still in favour of negotiations and despite US objections he was determined to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state in September, he said.

"We say to the world: We are for negotiations first, second and third. It is our choice. Therefore, we want the world to stand by what is right and by the perfect way to reach negotiations," he said.

The Palestinian president denied that reconciliation efforts between him and his Islamist rival Hamas have reached a dead end because of differences over who would run the new reconciliation government.

Abbas wants a government of independents and technocrats to prepare for national elections within a year, and not a government composed of the various political factions including his Fatah party and Hamas.

He said that he wants current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to run the new government because "he has the experience and he is independent. He is the right person for this stage."

Hamas said it was against Fayyad, a former World Bank official who became prime minister after the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip from Abbas' forces in June 2007.