Palestinian PM predicts independent state by August next year
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Last Updated: Friday, April 02, 2010, 18:36
  
Jerusalem: Citing Mahatma Gandhi, Palestinian Premier Salam Fayyad has said his people would not tolerate injustice after enduring decades of Israeli occupation and predicted an independent Palestinian state by August 2011.

"The birth of a Palestinian state will be celebrated as a day of joy by the entire community of nations," Fayyad told Israeli daily 'Ha'aretz' in an interview.

Relaying 'Passover' greetings to the Jewish people, he urged them to participate in the celebrations for the birth of a new Palestinian state.

"The time for this baby to be born will come," the Palestinian leader said, adding" and we estimate it will come around 2011."

"That is our vision, and a reflection of our will to exercise our right to live in freedom and dignity in the country (where) we are born, along side the State of Israel in complete harmony".

Fayyad, who does not have a strong backing on the ground but is backed by the West, also welcomed the announcement made by the Quartet - UN, US, EU and Russia, two weeks ago in Moscow which supported the Palestinian Authority's August 2009 plan to establish a state within 24 months.

The Palestinian Premier said his people want an independent and sovereign state by August 2011, emphasising that they are "not looking for a state of leftovers - a Mickey Mouse state."

"It is the right of an oppressed nation to say 'enough'," he said, adding "No one should be expected to stand for injustice, not least the Palestinians, who have endured long decades of occupation."

In this context, he cited the struggle of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King against injustice.

Fayyad and his aides hope that the state will be born during the first term of US President Barack Obama, noting that other American leaders tackled the conflict seriously only toward the end of their second term.

"If for one reason or another, by August 2011 (the plan) will have failed... I believe we will have amassed such credit, in form of positive facts on the ground, that the reality is bound to force itself on the political process to produce the outcome," Fayyad told the Israeli daily.

"I envision that we will be so mature in terms of positive facts on the ground, and along the way have grown on our Israeli neighbours, we will have begun a process of transformation from a concept, to a possibility, to a reality," he stressed.

PTI


First Published: Friday, April 02, 2010, 18:36


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