Thursday, January 5, 2017

Egyptian Daily Close To Egyptian Intelligence Reveals Minutes Of Secret Palestinian Authority Meeting With John Kerry, Susan Rice; U.S.-Palestinian Coordination On UNSC 2334 [Summary & Excerpts]

In mid-December 2016, a Palestinian Authority (PA) delegation met in Washington with officials from the outgoing Obama administration for secret talks.

 On December 27, 2016 the Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Sabi', which is close to Egyptian intelligence services, published an exposé of the minutes of the secret talks. 

 The Palestinian delegation included PLO Executive Committee secretary and negotiating team leader Saeb Erekat; Palestinian general intelligence chief Majid Faraj; Husam Zomlot, strategic affairs advisor to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud 'Abbas; Palestinian Foreign Ministry official Dr. Majed Bamya; Palestinian negotiations department official Azem Bishara; Palestinian intelligence international relations department chief Nasser 'Adwa; and head of the PLO delegation to Washington Ma'an Erekat.

 “The Palestinian side began its meetings on December 12, 2016 when Saeb Erekat and Majid Faraj met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The next day, the two met with National Security Advisor Susan Rice. The entire delegation met with an American team that included four representatives of the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, for a six-hour political-strategic meeting. Majid Faraj concluded his visit with a lengthy meeting with the CIA chief."

The minutes of the "top secret" meeting of Kerry, Rice, Erekat, and Faraj reveals U.S.-Palestinian coordination leading up to the UN Security Council vote on Resolution 2334 regarding Israel's settlements, which was adopted December 23,2016.

It states that the sides "agreed to cooperate in drafting a resolution on the settlements" and that the U.S. representative in the Security Council was "empowered" to coordinate with the Palestinian UN representative on the resolution.

The meeting also was aimed at coordinating Kerry's attendance at the upcoming international Paris Conference set for January 15, 2017, in order to promote a further international move regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kerry offered to propose his ideas for a permanent arrangement "provided that they are supported by the Palestinian side."

Also Erekat warned that if the U.S. Embassy was moved to Jerusalem, the Palestinians would call to expel U.S. Embassies from Arab and Muslim capitals, the report said.

The report added that Kerry and Rice had fulsomely praised 'Abbas's policies and how he handled matters, and harshly criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he "aims to destroy the two-state solution."
...
"They praised the substantial efforts of the Palestinian security apparatuses, specifically Palestinian [general] intelligence, led by Majid Faraj, as part of what they called 'the struggle against terrorism.' [The two] maintained that Palestinian-American collaboration in this area is among the closest of all the coordination between American apparatuses and security forces in the region."
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"The Palestinian delegation thanked Kerry and Rice, and expressed Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas's esteem for the views of U.S. President Barack Obama, Advisor Rice, and Secretary Kerry, and particularly for Kerry's speech at the Saban Forum in early December," the report added that the two U.S. officials had congratulated 'Abbas "for his stunning success at Fatah's Seventh General Conference and for his long and courageous speech (like those given by the late Cuban ruler Fidel Castro), during which he reiterated his positions and founding principles regarding his adherence to the peace process and his opposition to violence and terrorism in all forms." 
They also "praised 'Abbas's courage, positions, leadership, and adherence to the culture of peace and to peace as a strategic option, in addition to his opposition to violence and terrorism, to the ongoing security coordination, and to his being considered a uniquely strategic and courageous leader in the Middle East. The success of [Fatah's] Seventh General Conference. they [said], had effectively ended attempts by Muhammad Dahlan and others to weaken President 'Abbas, who must now act to tighten his relationship with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt."
"Rice asked the Palestinian delegation to convey U.S. President Barack Obama's gratitude to Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas for honoring all his commitments to him, and added: 'Abbas was open and honest regarding all his commitments, especially regarding [Palestine] refraining from joining the 16 international organizations [as a member state].'"
Kerry and Rice stressed that "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aims to destroy the two-state solution, and ..that all Netanyahu has to offer is maintaining the status quo, in addition to guarantees to improve [Palestinian] living conditions.”