Palestinian Peace Coalition Conference: 10 Years to the Geneva Accords

 

On December 5th the Palestinian Peace Coalition - Geneva Initiative (PPC-GI) held a conference "10 Years to the Geneva Accord - Negotiations: Prospects & Challenges" which took place in Ramallah with 200 participants.

 

Ramallah - On Thursday, December 5th the Palestinian Peace Coalition - Geneva Initiative (PPC-GI) held a conference "10 Years to the Geneva Accord - Negotiations: Prospects & Challenges" which took place at the Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah with 200 participants in attendance. PLO executive committee members, Fatah Central Committee members, Palestinian Legislative Council members, politicians, youth activists, journalists and foreign diplomats were among the conference participants.
 
 
left to right: Professor Raed Nirat, PPC-GI Chairman Yasser Abed Rabbo,
EU Delegation Head John Gutt Ratter, former Palestinian PM Ahmed Qurei
and Swiss Assistant State Secretary, Ambassador Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart
 
The conference was opened by Nidal Foqaha, Director General of the PPC-GI, who presented a briefing on the activities of Geneva Initiative-Palestine. Foqaha stated that the PPC-GI is working to achieve a series of objectives including “adopting a peaceful solution to the Palestinian- Israeli conflict as stipulated in the Geneva Accord, as well as building an active partnership with the Israeli peace camp and opening channels of dialogue with the different components of the Israeli political map.”
 
Yasser Abed Rabbo, PLO Secretary General and Chairman of the PPC-GI indicated that the GI could be the best model for an agreement, taking into account developments in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. “As a co-architect of the Geneva Accord, I can say that the document includes the necessary components for the solution”, Abed Rabbo stated.
Of the ongoing round of peace talks mediated by the American administration, Abed Rabbo stated that “Israel only talks about its security needs, ignoring its commitments towards the Palestinians” Abed Rabbo outlined recent developments including Palestine's recognition by the United Nations, as well as the EU position on settlements, and stressed that “ … the priority now is for ensuring the success of peace talks” calling upon the international community to support the Palestinian demands for freedom and independence. “Peaceful settlement can be achieved if Israel agrees to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territory in 1967, including East Jerusalem, and to an agreed just solution for the Palestinian Refugee problem as indicated in the Arab Peace Initiative”.
 
Ahmed Qurei “Abu Alaa”, former Palestinian Prime Minister and PLO executive committee member called upon the Israeli peace camp to exert more effort to change the Israeli approach to the negotiations: “If negotiations continue as they are now, this means giving an opportunity for the occupation to expand through settlement building, the Israeli peace camp should play a role in changing the approach to the negotiation which has been adopted by the Israeli leadership”. With regard to Secretary Kerry’s plan to allow Palestinian access to twenty thousands dunams (20 square km) of land in Area C, Abu Alaa said: “It is only 1% of Area C. They are talking about twenty thousand dunams out of two million … the basis should be putting an end to the occupation”.
 
Professor Raed Nirat, from Annajah University in Nablus, stressed the importance of putting an end to the internal Palestinian split and called for reconciliation. Professor Nirat stated that the Palestinian people support a peace that will restore their rights.
 
Ambassador Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart, Assistant State Secretary, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Division, at the Swiss Foreign Ministry outlined the Swiss position regarding the peace process and emphasized the Swiss commitment and support for the Geneva Initiative, the ongoing peace talks and Palestinian efforts for internal reconciliation.
 
Mr John Gatt-Rutter, Head of Delegation at the Office of the European Union Representative
West Bank and Gaza Strip highlighted the position of the EU on the peace process in general, and the current peace talks mediated by the Americans in particular. Ratter also stressed the EU's support for the Palestinian people.