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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back to 'talks'

The Jerusalem Post is reporting this morning that Israel will be watching a meeting of the foreign ministers of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia scheduled for today in Cairo with "interest, but little expectation," senior diplomatic officials said Monday.

The Post also reports that UN Secretary General Kofi Goofy Annan said in Damascus Friday that the Arab League has called on the UN Security Council to formally recognize "the need to reactivate the Middle Eastern peace process and establish a mechanism for us to proceed on all tracks." It is believed that the Arabs will present a plan based on the Saudi initiative from 2002, involve the UN Security Council, and call for an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict based on the principle of land for peace.

The Saudi initiative, which was adopted at the Arab Summit in Beirut in March 2002, calls on Arab states to "normalize relations" with Israel in return for the establishment of a 'Palestinian' state reichlet following an Israeli surrender of all land up to the Green Line, and a 'solution' to the issue of 'Palestinian refugees' in accordance with UN Resolution 194. This 1949 resolution called on Israel to allow the return of 'Palestinian refugees' and compensate those who don't want to do so.

Israel rejected the initiative, which has since been welcomed by UN Security Council resolution 1397 and mentioned in the American-sponsored road map trap.

Meanwhile, al-AP is spinning yesterday's disavowal deferral of the convergence consolidation realignment surrender, expulsion and suicide plan by Ehud Olmert as calling for 'negotiations' with the 'Palestinians.'
''We have no more urgent problem than that of the Palestinians,'' Olmert told parliament's influential Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, a meeting participant said.

Government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said Israel had no preconditions for a meeting between Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the rival Fatah Party, who favors peace talks with the Israelis.

Palestinian lawmaker Saeb Erekat, an Abbas ally, said the president, known as Abu Mazen, was prepared to talk. ''If Mr. Olmert says there are no conditions for a meeting, he knows that Abu Mazen stands ready for such a meeting,'' Erekat said.


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