Søreide detects will for peace in the Middle East
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, (Conservatives) believes that there is a will for negotiations and peace in the Middle East both from Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
On Monday, Søreide Ramallah visited the occupied West Bank, where she met the seasoned Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who is also Secretary General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
– I feel that there is a will to restart the processes and conversations, including the Americans, she told NRK after the meeting.
After Sunday’s meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Søreide also found reasons for optimism.
– I see a will to seek solutions, she told Dagsavisen after the meeting.
American peace plan
During the visit, Søreide has pointed to that US President Donald J.Trump has announced a peace plan.
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has made it clear that they will no longer consider any United States initiatives, pointing to Trump’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The UN has decreed that Israel’s 50-year-old occupation of East Jerusalem is illegal and a breach of international law.
Erekat is adamant in his view of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
– It’s the biggest strategic error that any American president has made, was his clear verdict on Monday.
Søreide nevertheless believes that the Palestinians must relate to the announced peace plan.
– The US will probably put its peace plan on the table in a few months. The parties must relate to it when that happens, whether they like it or not, she told the Dagsavisen after her meeting with Netanyahu on Sunday.
Erekat emphasizes that the Palestinians have not given up the hope of a negotiated peace agreement with Israel and believes Norway can play a role as facilitator, as was the case when the Oslo agreement were signed in 1993.
– As the chief Palestinian negotiator, I ask Norway to help save the Palestinian and Israeli hopes, Erekat told TV 2 after the meeting with Søreide.
NRK reports that Israel, according to Søreide, also wishes for this, something which was not stated after the meeting she had with Netanyahu on Sunday. It has not been reported in Israeli media either.
Søreide also did not comment on the request she received during the meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who, according to the Palestinian News Agency Wafa, asked Norway to recognize the state of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today