He said that the only reason he agreed to negotiations is because the Quartet publicly confirmed their statement from last March that Israel must withdraw to the 1967 lines, including East Jerusalem. In his words:
The statement confirmed all previous statements of the Quartet ... the statement underlined the need to end the occupation that took place in 1967, including East Jerusalem, and not to recognize the Israeli annexation [of any territory.]The only problem is, that is not what the Quartet said. The statement did request that Israel not expand settlements and stop demolitions in "East Jerusalem," but it also emphasized:
[T]he status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved through negotiations between the parties...And nowhere did they say that the final settlement must be based on the 1967 (really 1949) armistice lines.
In short, Abbas is lying.
He also fails to mention the failure of the PA to hold on to its end of what the Quartet demanded from them - "make every effort to improve law and order, to fight violent extremism and to end incitement."
The PA court system remains in a shambles, and incitement has not gone down at all. Just this month we have seen a PA square named after a terrorist, a state funeral for another terrorists, a summer camp named after a third, publicly claim that Israel poisoned Arafat, and lots more listed at the Palestinian Media Watch site.
Beyond that, he also telegraphed exactly how the negotiations will go, with another probable lie:
I would like to point out here that our attitudes toward the settlements and their legitimacy and to the settlement expansion has not changed. I must say that today, frankly and clearly that we were informed by all parties, including the American sponsor of the negotiations before we agree to participate, that the Government of Israel alone will have to bear responsibility for these negotiations, and the possibility of total collapse and failure, in the event of continued settlement expansion in all its forms and manifestations in other parts of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.I find it very hard to believe that the US agreed that Israel would be held responsible if the PA walks away when the settlement freeze expires and Israel resumes building. Yet Abbas is saying, very plainly, that this is what he plans to do, and he is blaming Israel in advance.
If Abbas has no compunction making these lies on the eve of negotiations, why should anyone trust him during the negotiations themselves?