Jerusalem status talks may be delayed: Israeli media

Israel and the Palestinians may postpone negotiations on the final status of Jerusalem for five years over a U.S. proposal, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday.

Jerusalem status talks may be delayed: Israeli media
The United States proposed the two sides to reach a temporary general agreement, valid for five years, by the end of 2008, without addressing the issues of the final status of Jerusalem and the settlement of Palestinian refugees, the newspaper quoted a Palestinian source as saying.

During the five years, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) would be granted some municipal sovereignty in Jerusalem, and would be allowed to provide various services to the Palestinian residents of the city, said the report.

According to the report, both sides are reluctant to accept the proposal, which has been under discussion in recent weeks, while they may compromise under pressure from the United States, the host of the Annapolis conference where leaders from Israeli and Palestinian sides promised to reach a peace deal within 2008, before U.S. President George W. Bush ends his last term.

The Palestinian source told daily Yedioth Ahronoth that the Palestinians would agree to this move, which mainly serves Israel's interests, only if Israel gives assurance for significant withdrawals from the West Bank and a just solution for the water issue and the prisoner problem.

However, chief Palestinian negotiator and former Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei said Thursday that the Palestinians reject any attempt to postpone negotiations concerning Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated on Monday their commitment to the Annapolis process, while both sides have said they were not to cede some bottom lines.
Last Mod: 11 Nisan 2008, 08:45
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