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Palestinian Leader Says Time Not Right for ‘Serious’ Talks

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Thursday that Palestinian-American relations are currently strained, and that many Palestinians are very disappointed with the yields of diplomacy, but he stressed that the Palestinians are committed to the peace process.

“We want to see an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967. We want the Palestinian people to live with dignity. We are committed to the peace process, but I think we need to take into account that right now the conditions are not right for the resumption of serious talks,” Fayyad said.

“All we want is a sovereign and sustainable state on 22% of the land. That’s what we want. We want freedom from Israel, not the right to vote in Israel. If that doesn’t happen, who will be able to prevent this conflict from turning into a struggle for equal voting rights [for Palestinians in Israel],” Fayyad added.

Fayyad made his remarks at the Friday night gala event of American Task Force on Palestine organization in Washington at a time when there is a diplomatic crisis between the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian lobby group in D.C.

The Task Force’s President and founder Ziad Asali complimented Fayyad on his “courage” and promised that Americans of Palestinian ethnicity will continue to support Palestine, even after a Palestinian state is established.

The Palestinian prime minister harshly criticized the announcement of new construction in East Jerusalem. “There can be no solution to the conflict without the recognition of East Jerusalem as the permanent capital of Palestine,” he said.

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