Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Olmert not ready for 'serious' peace talks, Palestinian FM says

Note the following article is in Israel's most influential paper.

This is the Zell's, the new Chicago Trib owner's version,"
Arabs snub Israeli invitation to meet. You don't suppose he's a Zionist do you? ;-)

Ziad Abu Amr tells reporters in Austria, 'I believe that at this time we don't have an Israeli partner anymore'

Associated Press Published: 04.04.07, 14:59 / Israel News

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is not ready for "serious negotiations" with the Palestinians and other Arab leaders on efforts to forge peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian foreign minister said Wednesday.

"I believe that Mr. Prime Minister Olmert is not ready to enter into real negotiations, serious negotiations with the Arabs, with the Palestinian side," Ziad Abu Amr told reporters after meeting with Austrian counterpart Ursula Plassnik.

"And I also believe, I can say here, that at this time we don't have an Israeli partner anymore."

On Sunday, Olmert said Israel would show up for a peace summit with Arab leaders if invited.

During a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the prime minister said, "I want to take this opportunity of being here with the European Union president in order to invite all Arab leaders, including the Saudi king.

"I am telling the heads of Arab countries that if the Saudi king initiates a meeting of the moderate states' leaders and invites both me and the Palestinian Authority president, I would gladly come there and speak our mind."

In Saudi Arabia's first comment to Olmert's call, an official sais Israel should withdraw from Arab territory and allow the creation of a Palestinian state before Arabs recognize it.

The Saudi official told The Associated Press that "before any meeting could be considered," Israel should accept the 2002 Arab peace initiative that would recognize Israel in exchange for withdrawal from captured territory and a just solution for the Palestinian refugees. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

At a summit in Saudi Arabia last week, the Arab League renewed its commitment to the peace initiative, which was initially proposed by Saudi Arabia. Olmert welcomed the decision but said Israel did not accept all parts of the plan.

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