Palestinian PM: Plan to declare statehood by 2011 remains on track
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Saturday that his plan to establish a Palestinian state by August 2011 remains on course.
In an interview with Channel 2, Fayyad denied that the Palestinians aim to seek unilateral recognition or any other alternative to a two-state solution.
Fayyad is credited with an economic upturn in the West Bank and improving law and order after a decade of violence. He has earned praise for taking steps to build a Palestinian state from the ground up and by renouncing violence against Israel.
In a rare address to the Israeli public, he urged people not to give up hope for peace.
He said in the interview broadcast Saturday that "we should not be discouraged because we have failed so many times before."
On Saturday, Bolivia joined Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in announcing its recognition of an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders.
The Foreign Ministry called the announcements "regrettable" and said that Israel viewed this decision with severity, and it would not help change the situation between Israel and the Palestinians.
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution opposing the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
The resolution calls on the U.S. administration to "deny recognition to any unilaterally declared Palestinian state and veto any resolution by the United Nations Security Council to establish or recognize a Palestinian state outside of an agreement negotiated by the two parties."
It also urges Palestinian leaders to "cease all efforts at circumventing the negotiation process, including efforts to gain recognition of a Palestinian state from other nations, within the United Nations, and in other international forums prior to achievement of a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians… and calls upon foreign governments not to extend such recognition."