Olmert praises Saudi initiative

Sunday, April 01, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is satisfied with the “active role” Saudi Arabia is playing in the Middle East peace process. Olmert told Time Magazine that the 2002 Saudi initiative, revived by the Arab Quartet, is a “very interesting approach.”

> The prime minister praised the document for offering a non-violent approach to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and calling on Arab nations to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

This was one of the Mecca Accords key failures, which was signed last month between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas refused to renounce terror and recognize past agreements made between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“The Haniyeh government is a big victory for Hamas,” Olmert said.

Concerning concessions by Israel, Olmert said he has not “ruled out” future withdrawals from Judea and Samaria.

When asked why Israel has not pursued diplomatic talks with Syria, the prime minister said he had not been involved in the reported “low-level” contacts with Syria.

“I wouldn't say no [to talks with Syria],” the prime minister continued. However, Olmert said Israel must be sure that its goals and Syria's goals for talks were generally compatible.

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