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Saturday, March 24, 2007

"Peace Plan" - Egypt is in on the act too

Along with Secretary Rice, Egypt is pushing the Arab peace plan. They insist that Israel must accept the Arab peace plan before negotiating with the PA. If Israel accepts the Arab "peace" plan, then there is nothing to negotiate about. Everyone can go live in Europe or the US, and leave their homes to the "returning" Palestinian refugees, who are the numerous descendants of the refugees of 1948 and their spouses, often of foreign descent.
What is the point of negotiating and what would we negotiate about?

Last update - 18:56 23/03/2007   
By The Associated Press
Egypt said Friday that Israel should approve in principle the 2002 land-for-peace Saudi peace initiative before negotiations with the Palestinians could begin.
"Israel must announce first that it is accepting the initiative, then we start searching for a mechanism of negotiations, for a peaceful settlement for the conflict," said Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister Hani Khalaf.
The Arab plan offers Israel recognition and peace in return for full withdrawal from the land Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War, plus the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. It also calls for allowing Palestinian refugees the right to return to homes in Israel.
The plan, first proposed at the Beirut Arab Summit in 2002, is expected to be revived at the upcoming Arab Summit later this month in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.
Israel initially rejected the plan, and is particularly opposed to its granting the right of return to Palestinian refugees and their descendants.
However, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Thursday that the plan could provide a convenient basis for renewed talks with Arab moderates. His remark was seen as indicating a tentative interest in the initiative after the failure of other avenues toward peace. The Egyptian official hinted that if Israel accepted the plan in principle, negotiations could begin on its specific points.
"Israel should not make any requests to reformulate the initiative before negotiations, as the process of negotiations in itself will bring modifications," Khalaf said.
Meanwhile, Arab diplomats say the United States has been pushing for changes to the Arab plan to make it consistent with the road map, a peace plan supported by the United States and other members of the Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators ? the United Nations, the European Union and Russia. The road map calls for a two-state solution but falls short of specifying border lines for the proposed Palestinian state.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is due to visit the southern Egyptian city of Aswan this weekend, where she is expected to discuss the American vision for a solution to the conflict in the Middle East with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and representatives of the UN, the EU and Russia.
Khalaf said Arab parties would listen to that vision, but would also focus on marketing the Arab plan to the United States.

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