Israel's Prime Minister designate Tzipi Livni assured the Palestinians' chief negotiator that peace talks would continue regardless of the change of government, "with no change", according to a ministry spokesperson.
RAMALLAH - Chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurie won an assurance from Israeli prime minister-designate Tzipi Livni on Tuesday that peace talks will not stall while she tries to form a new coalition government.
In an interview with Reuters following their meeting, Qurie warned that violence could erupt if the talks collapsed.
"The Palestinians will continue to negotiate. But, if the talks reached a dead end, what do we do? Capitulate? Resistance in all its forms is a legitimate right," Qurie said.
He said he had had a good first meeting with Livni, his Israeli negotiating counterpart and currently foreign minister, since her appointment as prime minister-designate on Monday.
"Livni reassured me she would continue the peace process without accepting any conditions."
In a statement issued by her office, Livni urged the Palestinians not to resort to violence which will "not achieve for the Palestinians any national objective."
Israeli officials denied that Livni made any promises about the contents of the negotiations going forward. Some prospective coalition partners object to including
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said after the meeting: "Livni assured her Palestinian counterpart that the meetings and working sessions will continue in the same format, with no change, even through the period in which she is trying to put together a governing coalition."
But he added: "She made no promises, such as the one he (Qurie) alluded to, concerning the contents of the talks."
Referring to the goal set by U.S. President George W. Bush last November, Qurie said he had "great doubts about finalising a deal this year".
He said Palestinian leaders were considering their options if talks failed to produce a deal that would lead to independence.
If they lost hope in negotiations and became convinced
Asked whether he was saying the Palestinians might resume suicide bombings and attacks inside
Livni, now trying to form a new coalition government to carry on peace talks that have so far produced little progress, made a similar warning in August.
Bush launched Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at
Qurie said talks on sensitive final status issues such as the fate of
The change of government in
The Palestinians were also unable to make decisions, as their attention was diverted by "internal divisions as a result of Hamas' coup in
Qurie said Palestinian options include abandoning the proposed two-state deal for a one-state solution absorbing Jews and Arabs into a single country -- something few Jews are willing to countenance.
Olmert has proposed a partial deal that would set aside the most intractable issue -- divided
"We want a detailed, comprehensive accord that would end occupation," he said.
Date created : 2008-09-24