Video>> Palestinians make formal statehood bid
RAMALLAH, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinians on Saturday slammed the statement issued by the International Quartet Committee for peace in the Middle East Friday night, which called for the unconditioned resumption of the direct peace talks between Palestinians and Israel.
The Quartet, that compresses the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume the stalled peace talks between the two sides within one month, in order to reach a final peace agreement by the end of 2012, saying that "the two sides should abandon obstructions and resume bilateral talks unconditionally."
Ahmed Majdalani, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official told Xinhua via telephone on Saturday that the Palestinian leadership "criticized the statement because it neglected the Palestinian demands of halting Jewish settlement activities in the West Bank and east Jerusalem."
"The Palestinian leadership would review the statement to respond," Majdalani said, adding "but we can say that we have many reservations because it doesn't meet the Palestinian demands."
The PLO official also criticized the statement because it didn' t include the conditions of getting back to the negotiations while talking about a time table.
On Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas handed an official Palestinian request to United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon to be submitted to the UN Security Council for recognizing a full membership of a Palestinian statehood established on 1967 territories.
The Palestinians would need nine votes of the Security Council in favor of their bid. However, the United States, one of the nine members, had announced that it will veto the bid.
Meanwhile Israel announced that it accepts the statement of the Quartet. An official Israeli sources told Israel Radio on Saturday that Israel accepts the statement "because it is balanced and doesn't refer to the cessation of settlement or an Israeli withdrawal back to 1967 borders."
Abbas flew from New York to Jordan on Friday in order to avoid attending Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before the UN General Assembly.
A well-informed Palestinian official source told Xinhua that Abbas will chair two meetings of the PLO executive committee and his Fatah party's central committee on Sunday to discuss the Quartet's statement and to evaluate the situation following the overwhelming international support of the Palestinian membership in the UN.
Clinton says U.S. "very pleased" with Quartet proposal for new Mideast talks
NEW YORK, Sep. 23 (Xinhua) -- The United States is very pleased that international mediators have come up with a "concrete and detailed" proposal for renewed negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians without delay or preconditions, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said here on Friday.
"The Quartet proposal represents the firm conviction of the international community that a just and lasting peace can only come through negotiations between the parties," she said, referring to the international mediation group for the Mideast peace process, which comprises the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia. Full story
Palestinian statehood bid on UN fast-track
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Palestine's dramatic formal application on Friday for United Nations' full recognition as a member state has already resulted in a date early next week for Security Council consultations and the diplomatic Quartet setting out a framework for negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas triggered the fast-moving series of events when he handed the one-page formal request to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon minutes before noon local time and headed to speak before the 193-member General Assembly. Full story
Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts