Israel is the real threat to the region, not Iran: Erakat

AMMAN, May 16 (MNA) -- Israel is promoting Iranophobia in the Middle East, but the Zionist regime is the real threat to the region not Iran, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said on Saturday.

“I have come to the World Economic Forum to say that Israel is behind the Iranophobia plot and is seeking to depict Iran as the main threat to the security and economy of the region. Everybody should be aware that the only threat in the region is Israel’s occupation and not Iran,” he told the Mehr News Agency correspondent in Shuneh, Jordan.


“Although this meeting is an economic event, as you see, the dispute between Israel and Palestine is the focus of the discussions,” he added. 


The 2009 World Economic Forum meeting on the Middle East opened at the Dead Sea port of Shuneh, Jordan on Friday.


Some 1,300 businessmen and political leaders from 80 countries are attending the conference.


Erakat pointed out that King Abdullah of Jordan criticized Israel and called for an end to the suffering of four generations of Palestinians during his opening speech at the WEF meeting on Friday.


Many Arab diplomats stated that there is no point in resuming peace talks in the current situation, in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pursuing inflexible policies, he added.


Netanyahu does not support the idea of an independent Palestinian state.


“You saw that Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa also said the talks should be put back on their correct track,” the Palestinian negotiator noted.


And that means as long as the Zionist regime refuses to withdraw from the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and the return of Palestinian refugees to Beit-ul-Moqaddas is not on the table, any talks are doomed to failure, he added.


He went on to say that it is wrong to hope that a new U.S. administration will be able to move the peace process forward.


“In the United States, many presidents have come and gone, and many special envoys have been appointed for the Palestine issue, but it is not acceptable to delay recognition of the Palestinian nation’s rights any more,” he said.


As long as Israel has not fulfilled its previous commitments, it is useless to hold more talks, Erakat asserted.


He also said, “One might wonder what a Palestinian is doing among businessmen at a meeting on economy. We are here to deliver a message, and that is peace, security, and economic development in the region can only be realized after the end of the Israeli occupation.”


Before the end of the occupation of Palestine, any economic development in the region would be unreal, he noted.


“If we are talking about international law here, then Israel must withdraw to the 1967 borders,” he argued.





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