Olmert rejects Rice's proposal: Haaretz

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected, during his visit to the United States last week, a proposal by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Israel negotiate a permanent settlement with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Olmert rejects Rice's proposal: Haaretz
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected, during his visit to the United States last week, a proposal by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Israel negotiate a permanent settlement with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The Israeli newspaper, "Haaretz," reported on Sunday that Rice supported talks on an agreement on a permanent settlement; not be implemented immediately because of "Abbas' weak standing."

In Rice's view, merely reaching such an agreement in principle would provide the Palestinians with a "political horizon" and hope, thereby encouraging them to fight "terror" and to establish governing institutions in preparation for an independent state, the Israeli daily said in report posted on its website.

Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni shares Rice's approach, but Olmert is strongly opposed to the idea. He believes that any settlement reached should be implemented, and fears a situation in which Israel approves the agreement, but Abbas fails to sell it to the Palestinian public.

In that event, Israel might be pressured to make further concessions to make Abbas' task easier. Olmert agreed several months ago to launch talks with Abbas over "a political horizon," on condition that such a deal would not address the three core issues -- Jerusalem, permanent borders and the refugees.
Last Mod: 24 Haziran 2007, 19:07
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