World ´must act to balance London peace conference´ (INDEPENDENT UK) By Anne Penketh, Diplomatic Editor 01/31/05)
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The London conference on Palestinian institution-building due on 1
and 2 March is "an important step on the road to statehood" for the
Palestinians, their envoy to the UK says.
"For us, it is an important moment to interact with 20 foreign
ministers. We should not fall into the trap of previous attempts, in
which too much was left to the local parties [Israelis and
Palestinians], which allowed Israel to dictate conditions to the
Palestinians," Afif Safieh told The Independent.
He said US alignment with Israeli policy had led to "European
abdication, Russian decline, Arab impotence and hoped-for Palestinian
resignation". But now, he said, with hope again in the ascendancy
after the election of Mahmoud Abbas as Palestinian President, the
international community should be actively involved in the peace
process again and putting pressure on Israel.
"I don´t think Israeli will be allowed to have a veto on
international diplomacy," he said. "The Israelis should not be
allowed to dictate the pace of movement. There won´t be a solution
unless there is a role by the international community." (© 2005
Independent Digital (UK) Ltd 01/31/05)
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