The Mayor of Gaza, Rashad Al-Shawa, has strongly Criticised recent Egyptian-Israeli attempts to establish a time-table linking a Middle East peace treaty with elections in Gaza and the Jordan West Bank.
SV Mayor of Gaza Rashad Al-Shawa speaking in English. (5 SHOTS)
MASSEY: "Mr. Mayor, you have just met Mr. Arafat, did he give any idea what conditions he would want for starting negotiations on autonomy?"
AL-SHAWA: "He did not give any detailed idea but certainly he felt very offended that Egypt was going the way alone. And he thought that Egypt should not take nay separate steps in trying to resolve the Middle East problem, the crux of which is the Palestine problem. And Mr. Arafat of course, the same as all other Arab leaders, feels that Sadat in the steps he has taken has taken steps separate from all the Arab countries and governments."
MASSEY: "So if peace were concluded between Israel and Egypt, you wools not join any negotiations unless the PLO were represented.?"
AL-SHAWA: "That's right."
MASSEY: "What sort of reservations would you have, what conditions, what prior conditions would you envisage as the price for joining negotiations?"
AL-SHAWA: "Well, number one, the PLO must be the main negotiating body in any possible negotiations in the future. Number two, they are a number of points that we feel must be amended in the text and context of the Camp David accords. Something must be clarified regarding stopping new settlement being erected in the occupied territories during the transitional period, and an undertaking that settlements already set-up must be disassembled or otherwise give to the autonomous authority where it can move in some of the refugees living already in refugee camps. The situation of Jerusalem must be put in a clear frame. Without jerusalem coming back to arab sovereignty I doubt very much whether any true or durable peace can be concluded in the area."
REPORTER: PAT MASSEY
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Mayor of Gaza, Rashad Al-Shawa, has strongly Criticised recent Egyptian-Israeli attempts to establish a time-table linking a Middle East peace treaty with elections in Gaza and the Jordan West Bank. speaking in Gaza on Tuesday (28 November) he said he would not consider participating in any peace negotiations unless Israel agreed in advance to a string of demands. These included Palestinian self-determination in the occupied areas, removal of all Jewish settlements from the Gaza strip and the return of jerusalem to Arab rule. Mayor al-Shawa stressed without these demands being met there could be not hope of a lasting solution of Middle East problems. He was speaking to reporter Pat Massey.