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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Deputy Defense Minister: Peace with Palestinians possible within 2 years

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/01/deputy-defense-minister-peace-with.html

Last update - 11:07 18/01/2007   

Deputy Defense Minister: Peace with Palestinians possible within 2 years
By Haaretz Service and The Associated Press
 
Israel and the Palestinians can wrap up a final peace deal within two years, Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said Thursday.
 
"Two years are enough to conclude a detailed agreement," Sneh told an academic conference.
 
"We should discuss, maybe for six months, the principles, and move forward about the details of final status agreement," Sneh said. "It (the talks) can be direct, and I am sure, in the government of Israel, there is a majority for doing it."
 
Defense Minister Amir Peretz presented the Labor Party faction Monday with a new diplomatic initiative that calls for final status negotiations with the Palestinians to begin within six months.
 
The proposal, which the Labor chairman termed "the new road map," was also signed by Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh.
 
Last week, Defense Minister Amir Peretz presented the Labor Party faction Monday with a new diplomatic initiative that calls for final status negotiations with the Palestinians to begin within six months.
 
Sneh also signed the proposal, which the Labor chairman termed "the new road map."
 
Peretz's plan combines the Saudi peace initiative and the so-called road map for Middle East peace, and includes three stages.
 
In the first stage, which would last six months, a new security and economic policy would be formulated. This would include the release of captured Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, the evacuation of unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts, and the stabilization of the cease-fire.
 
In the second stage, which would also last six months, would be comprised of negotiations on final status principles and the expansion of Palestinian sovereignty.
 
The third stage would consist of negotiations on the details of the final status agreement, and would last 18 months.
 
Peretz would negotiate only with Palestinian moderates, like Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, saying his plan would strengthen them by offering "a diplomatic option."


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