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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Livni: Stick to the plan

Tzipi Livni has at last articulated the Israeli rationale for not issueing a comprehensive final status statement:
Livni emphasized Israel would not relinquish its demand that the road map plan be implemented, despite the Palestinian suggestion to advance talks independently from it.
It is an idea: Stick to the plan. It might not be a workable idea though.
Ami Isseroff
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Jerusalem on Sunday morning for talks aimed at overcoming the impasse between Israel and the Palestinians ahead of a U.S.-sponsored regional summit.
At the start of their meeting, Livni said that negotiations with Palestinians ahead of the peace summit have stalled. The summit is scheduled to take place later this year in Annapolis, Maryland.
"There is no tension, but there are problems," Livni said. "There are differences of opinion are over the road map. We must reach a basic understanding that the creation of a Palestinian state should occur only after Israel's security is established."  

Livni emphasized Israel would not relinquish its demand that the road map plan be implemented, despite the Palestinian suggestion to advance talks independently from it.
"The situation is complicated," Livni said. "One must understand that we have a shared interest with the moderates in the [Palestinian] Authority, and they need to understand that first there must be security, and only then a Palestinian state. The problem is not over making a joint declaration, but what its content would be."
Rice held a rare meeting with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Saturday as the West stepped up pressure on Damascus not to interfere in Lebanon's presidential election process.
Rice told Livni on Sunday that the purpose of those talks was to ensure that the election be democratic and free of intimidation. The secretary of state reiterated that the U.S. had not changed its policy toward Syria.
The United States and France, Lebanon's former colonial power, have led international criticism of what they call Syria's constant meddling in its neighbor's affairs. Syria denies the accusations.
Officials made no comment on Rice's talks with Moallem, held on the sidelines of an international conference on Iraq in Istanbul.

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