PLO Executive Committee Member, Saeb Erekat, Wednesday denied reports that the Quartet has proposed a meeting between the Palestinians and Israelis in Jordan later this month.
Erekat, speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, said the Quartet contacted the Palestinian leadership and denied statements by US State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, announcing the proposed meeting between both sides.
But in WaPo:
International Mideast mediators proposed a meeting between Israel and the Palestinians this month to relaunch stalled peace talks, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday the global spotlight on the conflict should be a catalyst to bring the two sides together.So Erekat knew about the proposal, even if it wasn't a formal invitation - and then he turned around and told Wafa that there was no proposal for talks at all.
On Sept. 23, hours after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas took his people’s quest for independence to the United Nations and asked for U.N. membership, the Quartet moved to revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. It set a 30-day deadline for the two sides to hold preliminary talks aimed at resurrecting direct negotiations and called for a peace deal by the end of 2012.
To keep up the momentum, the Quartet wants both sides to meet in Jordan on Oct. 23, the deadline they set for talks to resume.
Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said there would be no decision on whether the Palestinians would attend the meeting until a formal invitation had been received.
Obviously the Quartet would not issue a formal invitation if it knows that one side will refuse, because that would be embarrassing. But it is just as obvious that the Quartet has been pushing for, and proposing, meetings between the two sides.