Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says the transcript of a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry is “lies and half-truths,” but confirms the meeting took place in Washington.
Meanwhile, US officials from the State Department and National Security denied the meeting took place at all.
“The leaked minutes are lies and half-truths” said Erekat, according to the official Palestinian Authority Wafa news agency. “They were leaked to serve Netanyahu and Liberman’s wars against the international community who championed international law and considered all of Israel’s, the occupying power, dictates and settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in East Jerusalem, illegal and a gross violation of international law.”
According to Wafa, Erekat confirms the meeting described in the minutes took place.
In a meeting in early December with Erekat, Kerry told the Palestinians that the US was prepared to cooperate with the Palestinians at the Security council, Israel’s Channel 1 TV said, quoting the Egyptian Al-Youm Al-Sabea newspaper. Also present at the meeting according to the report were US National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and Majed Faraj, director of the Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence Service. Kerry is quoted as saying that he could present his ideas for a final status solution if the Palestinians pledge they will support the proposed framework. The US officials advised the Palestinians to travel to Riyadh to present the plan to Saudi leaders.
White House national security council spokesman Ned Price on Wednesday told The Times of Israel that no such meeting took place. “The ‘transcript’ is a total fabrication,” he said.
This is a total fabrication. This meeting never occurred. https://t.co/FHDL1taIlF
— Ned Price (NARA) (@Price44) December 28, 2016
While a readout from the State Department earlier this month confirmed Erekat and Kerry had met, Price said “a tripartite meeting with Kerry, Rice, and Erekat never occurred.”
State Department spokesperson John Kirby also tweeted a denial.
Claims cited in your piece are wrong. No such meeting took place.
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) December 27, 2016