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PLO leader slams US, German stance as 'counterproductive'

June 8, 2011 6:33 P.M. (Updated: June 10, 2011 11:23 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- "People do not negotiate their right to statehood. Rather, this is an inherent right," a PLO official lashed out Wednesday in the wake of US and German statements demanding Palestinian officials abort plans to seek UN recognition of statehood.

"Far from acting unilaterally, Palestinians are bringing their case for statehood before the United Nations, the world’s preeminent multilateral body. Self-determination and respect for the sovereignty of nations are principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, making the UN a natural forum to resolve this issue," Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee said in a statement.

The day before, US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out at a news conference, saying they agreed that Palestinians should not seek recognition of a state at the UN in September, calling the move "unilateral."

Ashrawi's sharp statement appealed to the leaders, urging them to reflect on their position and "send a very different message" if they wanted to reinforce prospects for peace.

"For the last two years, we have built our state from the ground up. Our efforts have been internationally recognized and widely praised. We fulfill all the requirements of statehood as stipulated under Article 4 of the UN Charter and the Montevideo Convention. The sole obstacle that remains is Israel’s refusal to end its occupation," she said in a statement.

For peace to be realized, she continued, "You do not leave an occupied people at the mercy of those who occupy them and who act unilaterally in violation of international law by continuing to demolish homes, annex land, build settlements, erect apartheid walls and revoke IDs.

"On the contrary, come September, we expect President Obama and Chancellor Merkel to support the involvement of the United Nations as a positive step forward in efforts to secure regional peace and safeguard stability, and to recognize that the greatest threat to regional peace and security is Israel’s refusal to respect Palestinian rights and international law," Dr Ashrawi concluded.

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