CAIRO: Egypt has dismissed any notions of setting temporary Palestinian borders in response to an Israeli proposal to form a temporary Palestinian state on 60 percent of the West Bank.
The idea had been advanced by Kadima deputy and former Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz, in what was seen as an early bid to contest the party leadership from Tzipi Livni.
Mofaz claimed that Israeli President Shimon Peres and defense Minister Ehud Barak had been receptive to his proposal.
Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit stated that it was not an idea that Egypt would accept when asked during a press conference with Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Sharm El-Sheikh during the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
“The aim is to reach a permanent settlement for the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with the same size of the lands occupied in June 1967, Aboul Gheit said, “Any other talk which is not in this direction is something we will not consider.
The foreign minister also urged the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas not to follow through on his threat to resign because of his frustrations with the stalled peace process.
Aboul Gheit also urged Abbas to reconsider his position regarding running in the next Palestinian election scheduled for January. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner also urged Abbas not to step down.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP, “If president Abbas feels that his project of establishing a Palestinian state is in danger and that Israel wants to destroy the idea of a Palestinian state, then I think he will not remain in the position of the presidency.
Another official told AFP that if Abbas resigned, “the Authority will fall, and there will not be a Palestinian Authority or any of the institutions of a Palestinian state.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu made a speech at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in the US after holding talks with American President Barack Obama.
In the speech Netanyahu said he was willing to begin negotiations but added that the Palestinians, “must abandon the fantasy of flooding Israel with refugees, give up irredentist claims to the Negev and Galilee, and declare unequivocally that the conflict is finally over.