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Senior Palestinian official criticizes US stance on Mideast strife

GAZA, April 14 (KUNA) -- A senior Palestinian official criticized in strong terms on Thursday the US stance toward the Middle East namely Washington's abstention from coercing Israel cooperate for reaching a settlement to the regional crisis.
Certain "quarters" at the US Administration can't take any step regarding the Palestinian cause without Israel's prior consent, said Dr. Saeb Oreikat, the head of the politburo of the Palestine Liberation Organization in remarks to KUNA.
Oreikat said a meeting of the Quartet, due in Berlin on Friday, was adjourned due to fresh stands taken by European states and Russia in support of halting construction and expansion of Israeli settlements as a condition for resuming the peace process.
Israel has pushed the peace process off course, and the US, regretfully, backs it with vetoes at the Security Council and putting functions of the Quartet on hold,, Oreikat said.
Reacting to recent remarks by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about a new approach by the US Administration toward the peace process, Oreikat said he could not fathom the "goals of such a declaration." "We do not need new initiatives. What we actually need is realization by the US President Barack Obama that states' failure of recognizing the State of Palestine with the 1967 borders is tantamount to violation of the international laws," Oreikat said.
President Obama should choose to be supportive of the international laws and legitimacy and stop dealing with Israel as a state above the law, with its continuation of the settlement policy and imposing new facts on the ground, Oreikat said.
On Tuesday, the Palestinian Presidency called on Washington to take an explicit stand toward the issue of establishing an independent Palestinian state and urged it take a firm stance against the Isreeli settlement policy. (end) mzt.rk KUNA 141147 Apr 11NNNN