Palestinian FM: Israel´s new unity government won´t aid peace process (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By The Associated Press and Haaretz 05/13/12)
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The Palestinian foreign minister said Saturday that he sees no major
dividends for the peace process coming out of the formation of a new
Israeli unity government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Riad Malki said Saturday that the broad new ruling coalition would
only serve to further the interests of its leading partners and that
he saw little prospect of a softening in Israel´s stance.
Peace talks with the Palestinians have been frozen throughout
Netanyahu´s three-year term because of disagreements over settlements
in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Palestinians, who claim both
areas for a future state, have said they won´t return to the
negotiating table without a settlement freeze. Netanyahu says talks
should resume without any preconditions.
But Netanyahu´s alliance with the opposition Kadima party this week
has raised hopes some room could be made for compromise with the
Palestinians, without his government being brought down by hardline
nationalists. That optimism has yet to materialize among the
Palestinian leadership, however.
"I don´t see how this will be translated into rapprochement with the
Palestinians vis-a-vis the peace process," Malki told The Associated
Press on the sidelines of a conference on refugees in the Muslim
world that concluded Sunday in the Central Asian nation of
Malki also said that a new bid for statehood at the UN General
Assembly was "imminent." He said that he was not surprised by what he
deems to be the pro-Israel rhetoric coming out of the U.S. during the
presidential election season, but that the bid would go ahead
How Netanyahu chooses to respond to an April ultimatum from the
Palestinians on the terms for restarting peace talks may prove
decisive to the statehood issue.
"It depends on the response of Netanyahu to our letter. It depends on
how the Americans will react to that and if they will come forward
with some fresh ideas," Maliki said. "We are not in a rush, but at
the same time, we are not going to wait forever."
On Saturday, Netanyahu´s special envoy Isaac Molho was set to meet
with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, to
deliver a letter urging him to return to peace talks. (© Copyright
2012 Ha´aretz 05/13/12)
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