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    Olmert wants to shake hands with the Saudis

    شاطر

    مـحمد أبو عـرة
    1
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    ذكر
    عدد الرسائل : 1256
    العمر : 30
    الأقامة : في المنفى...
    العمل : Technological techniques
    تاريخ التسجيل : 27/04/2007

    w Olmert wants to shake hands with the Saudis

    مُساهمة من طرف مـحمد أبو عـرة في الإثنين أغسطس 06, 2007 5:10 am

    Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been pressing the Bush administration and other international and regional players to pressure Saudi leaders to hold a public meeting with Israeli leaders, preferably himself or foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

    According to reports in the Hebrew press, Olmert told visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who arrived in Israel last week, that he was interested in establishing “a diplomatic breakthrough” in the form of a meeting between himself and a Saudi official.

    Israeli sources, quoted by the Ha’aretz newspaper, said an Israeli-Saudi meeting would show that Israel was making a diplomatic headway, which would boost Olmert’s public standing among Israeli Jews.

    Olmert earlier asked two visiting Arab foreign ministers, Ahmed abul Gheit of Egypt and Abdul Ilah al Khatib of Jordan , to press other Arab officials to visit Israel .

    Meanwhile, Rice reportedly informed the Israeli Prime Minister that the US would dramatically boost military aid to the Jewish state.

    The Bush administration announced last week that it would give Israel $30 billion dollars’ worth of military assistance. She will also try to soothe Israeli objections to the proposed sale to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states of billions of dollars’ worth of military gear.

    Israel is likely to demand that any arms to be sold to the Saudis be of an inferior quality, compared to arms sold to Israel, and also that modern aircrafts be stationed in eastern Saudi Arabia, not in the north western part of the Kingdom, close to southern Israel.

    Rice also sought to persuade Olmert to be more forthcoming with regard to the upcoming regional-international peace conference which the Bush administration is planning to convene to discuss a possible final draft of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

    The American Secretary of State also reportedly told Israeli leaders that the summit conference is not going to impose a solution on Israel and that a “flexible” posture on Israel’s part will help the US and the rest of the international community to isolate and neutralize Iran and its regional allies.

    Israel, while voicing general support for the idea of a regional conference, has privately expressed a number of reservations in this regard.

    Israel insists that the conference be “regional” not “international” and that only countries having diplomatic relations with Israel should be invited.

    However, Rice sought to circumvent Israeli objections in this regard by arguing that the presence or even active participation of Arab leaders, especially those whose countries don’t recognize Israel, would imply wider Arab acceptance of the Jewish state and a willingness to normalize relations with it.

    Olmert has been saying that he needs a dramatic event, e.g. a meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, to convince the Israeli public to support “bold diplomatic initiatives,” by Israel, especially with regard to the Palestinian issue.

    Olmert told visiting American officials recently that unlike Israel, where the Prime Minister is answerable to the people and has to carefully watch his behavior, Arab leaders could embark on bold steps toward Israel without having to worry about public opinion in their respective arenas.

    Israel, which possesses a formidable arsenal of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, has also voiced consternation at a statement by Rice in Cairo on Tuesday in which she indirectly called on Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    Rice said during a joint press conference with Abul Gheit that it was important to make the treaty universal for all countries.

    However, it is unlikely that Rice’s statements has signaled any shift in the long-standing American policy toward Israel’s nuclear arsenal. A more logical interpretation of her statements is that they were meant to satisfy recurrent Arab demands that the NPT be applied to all countries in the region, including Israel.

    Rice traveled to Ramallah where she met with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his prime minister Salam Fayad.

    She reaffirmed US support for Abbas in his struggle against Hamas and might also announce fresh American financial assistance to the cash-strapped PA government.

    Earlier, reports spoke of secret negotiations being conducted between Abbas and Olmert for the purpose of reaching a “common understanding” of how a final-status settlement between Israel and the PA would look like.

    Some Palestinian commentators have dubbed the secret talks as “Oslo-2”

    Palestinian columnist Hani al Masri wrote Tuesday that Abbas would commit a great sin if he decided to enter into secret bilateral negotiations with Israel, since this would allow Israel to extricate itself from obligations under international law, including ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories seized by Israel in 1967.

    Some observes in Palestine have argued that Israel’s Olmert is trying to reach an “quick understanding” with Abbas prior to the American-proposed regional conference in order to forestall any conceivable international pressure on Israel to give up the spoils of the 1967 war.

    Israel views the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip as “disputed” rather than “occupied” territories.

    Olmert apparently believes that an understanding with Abbas, who is now free from any Hamas pressure, would be more favorable to Israel , especially with regard to the central issues of Jerusalem , the refugees and Jewish settlements.

      الوقت/التاريخ الآن هو الجمعة ديسمبر 09, 2016 1:44 pm