Friday, July 27, 2007

Arab Envoys and Israelis Meet to Talk Mideast Peace

New York Times:
Mr. Khatib and Mr. Aboul Gheit met with Mr. Olmert; Israel’s foreign minister, Tzipi Livni; President Shimon Peres; and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Likud party leader.

At a joint news conference here, Mr. Aboul Gheit said that he and Mr. Khatib had heard “many positive responses” from Ms. Livni. They said they would be reporting back their findings, and maybe presenting some ideas, to an Arab League ministerial meeting on Monday.

All sides emphasized that the details of any agreement would have to be reached by the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves.

Ms. Livni said the idea was “to advance a bilateral Israeli-Palestinian process and to see how the Arab world can support it.”

Palestinian negotiators have suffered in the past from a lack of support from the Arab world that would help them make the necessary concessions for a deal with Israel. For many Israelis, the promise of full normalization with the Arab world makes the idea of concessions on their part more palatable. Both Ms. Livni and her Arab counterparts pointed to a wide consensus among the Israeli public in favor of an Israeli-Palestinian peace based on the two-state solution."

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