Ramallah: Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye said on Thursday that his country welcomes any international effort to revive the stalled peace process with Israel.
Ishtaye made the remarks while meeting with British Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
“The Palestinian side is looking for achieving a just and comprehensive peace for the Palestinians,” he said in a statement issued after the meeting.
The statement said Ishtaye discussed with Gove the possibility of expanding the international quartet for peace, which comprises the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union.
“Expanding the quartet will help reach a just and comprehensive peaceful solution to the Palestinian cause and establish an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” it said.
Ishtaye also expressed Palestine’s appreciation for Britain’s “positive position” towards the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to investigate alledged Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories, it added.
Meanwhile, Ishtaye urged Gove to exert pressure on Israel to allow holding the upcoming legislative elections in East Jerusalem scheduled on May 22, according to the statement.
“Holding the elections in East Jerusalem is a national and political necessity,” Ishtaye said.
“The question is not related to the number of Palestinians who will run or vote in the elections. It is related to the fact that East Jerusalem is part of the occupied Palestinian territories,” he said.
In January, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced the 2021 general elections will include the legislative elections on May 22, the presidential elections on July 31, and the elections of the Palestinian National Council, the highest decision-making body of the Palestine Liberation Organization, on Aug. 31.
The Palestinians insist on holding the legislative elections in East Jerusalem, saying they want to hold the general elections to elect a new parliament and a new president in all Palestinian territories, including the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.
The Palestinians in East Jerusalem participated in the last presidential and legislative elections held in 2005 and 2006.