Chief Palestinian negotiator denies independence declaration

Other News Materials 20 February 2008 16:05 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia rejected statements Wednesday calling for a Kosovo-style declaration of independence in the Palestinian areas if peace talks with Israel yielded no results.

"This option is excluded and has never been discussed among the Palestinian leaders," he said in a statement faxed to the media.

Qureia was responding to statements earlier Wednesday by Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior official in President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, who told Voice of Palestine Radio that if the lack of progress in the negotiations with Israel continued, the Palestinians would have no option but to follow the model of Kosovo and unilaterally declare independence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.