Ramallah / PNN - Chairman of Palestinian National Initiative and deputy in the Legislative Council, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi said on Monday that President Mahmoud Abbas needs to stop negotiations and not resign from office.
Al Barghouthi told the press, "President Abbas is invited to stop negotiations with the Israelis and return to work with other Palestinian factions to restore national unity, instead of talking about resigning."
Barghouthi demanded that future Palestinian presidential elections should take place on schedule and legislative elections to take place in conjunction with them.
A former presidential candidate himself, Barghouthi refused to deny or confirm his candidacy in the forthcoming presidential elections supposed to take place on the ninth of January next. He said, "There is no doubt that it is too early to talk about the subject of presidential elections, which we call for being on time with the full participation of the Palestinian territories, and to coincide with legislative elections. It is far too early for me to talk about my own candidacy for the presidential elections, which will be an issue taken up by the National Initiative.”
Barghouthi called on President Abbas to halt negotiations with the Israelis, instead of resigning from his post and said, "I do not think that President Abbas needs to resign, but he does need to stop negotiations with the Israelis. Olmert is using the opportunity to cover up his crimes against the Palestinian people and continue with the settlement policy. He has US cover to hide from the failure of their collective policies in the region. The only way that it is acceptable for Olmert to negotiate is if he accepts his international and internal responsibilities. Abbas should not negotiate with him until after the full cessation of settlement building and expansion, and the ending of the building of the Apartheid Wall, and after the blockade is completely lifted from the Gaza Strip and West Bank. President Abbas should put his energies into working with all of us to restore national unity.”
Palestinian Presidential Spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, denied reports that quoted Israeli sources saying that Abbas said of Sunday’s meeting in Sharm Al Sheikh would bring about an agreement in six months.
Abu Rudeineh stressed that rumors of President Abbas threatening to resign are unfounded, but he did say that it is uncertain whether the President will seek a second term in the Palestinian Authority or the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
President Abbas reportedly threatened to resign over the stance of the Israel and the United States, their joint intransigence, and futility of the mission.