Olmert, Livni holding separate talks with Palestinians

Thursday, October 02, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Israel's fractured leadership structure is resulting in two separate peace processes with the Palestinian Authority, recent media reports have suggested.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is currently head of a transition government and should therefore be refraining from taking part in far-reaching diplomacy, is nevertheless continuing to hold direct peace talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

In fact, Olmert presented Abbas last week with a generous package of Israeli concessions that almost meet all Palestinian demands.

Days later, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who recently replaced Olmert as head of the ruling Kadima Party and is in the process of trying to form a new government, rejected the Olmert proposal, as did her Palestinian negotiating partner Ahmed Qureia.

Some observers view the situation as an attempt by Olmert to torpedo Livni's coalition-building efforts, and thereby buy himself several more months in power.

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