|Egypt to host follow-up to Annapolis summit|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 02 October 2008 07:45|
World leaders have agreed to convene a follow-up meeting to the Annapolis peace conference that was held in the United States in November of last year. This year's meeting will most likely be held in Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt on the 27th of November, a year to the day that Israeli and Arab leaders presented their joint-declaration and committed themselves to final status talks. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had been pressing for both sides to draft a document of principles, which would detail progress that had been made over the last twelve months of negotiations. But Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has opposed the idea, fearing the publication of such details could result in pressure from hardliners to limit the concessions being made by both sides. Leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority will instead brief members of the Quartet on progress that has been achieved so far. Russia had sought to host the follow-up gathering to the Annapolis peace conference, but it seems that following the conflict in Georgia, Russia has been sidelined in this matter. Instead the summit will be held in Egypt, and a peace gathering will be held in Moscow in the Spring.
Quote: "Quartet representatives met with their Arab League counterparts in New York last week and approved the proposed Israeli and Palestinian briefing. Also, Quartet members decided to hold a peace summit in Moscow next spring. Meanwhile, the Israeli source said the November summit will probably take place in Sharm el-Sheikh on the anniversary of last year's Annapolis summit. Quartet representatives, including its Middle East envoy, former British prime minister Tony Blair, will participate as well as officials from Jordan and Egypt.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has not essentially changed his views over the past year. Olmert stated at Annapolis one year ago that "the reality that emerged in our region in 1967 will change significantly". On Tuesday Olmert once again claimed that Israel "should withdraw from almost all of the territories, including in east Jerusalem and in the Golan Heights" if Israel was to obtain peace with the Palestinians. Of course the Palestinians proclaimed this as a major shift in Israeli policy, and lamented the fact that Olmert had not made this clear to them while he was still Prime Minister. In actual fact Israel has gone above and beyond what is required of them to accommodate the Palestinian Authority, making repeated offers of territory which have been rejected again and again. At the Annapolis peace conference we heard how the Palestinian negotiators repeatedly hardened their stance just minutes prior to the announcement of the joint-declaration. And just twenty-four hours after the Annapolis peace conference was concluded, President Abbas' Fatah party was broadcasting propaganda on their television network, calling for the destruction of Israel and displaying a map of the Middle East with with a Palestinian flag covering the entire Jewish state. Israel is not negotiating for land, they are negotiating for their very existence! And anyone who thinks that Israel and the Palestinian Authority can achieve any sort of lasting peace agreement is greatly deluded. The Bible states that during the tribulation period Israel's enemies shall be in siege both against Judea and Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2), and as the international community continues to press Israel into making peace with those who seek its complete destruction, it's easy to see how this situation will come about. The fact that the international community are pressing for the creation of a Palestinian state in Judea (West Bank) with east Jerusalem as its capital shows us how close we are to the fulfilment of these prophecies. It's time to get ready. Jesus Christ is coming back again. Only those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will escape the wrath of God that is to fall upon this wicked world (Luke 21:36). But there is still time for you to be ready. Confess to God that you are a sinner. Thank Him for sending His Son into the world to bear the punishment for your sins upon the cross. Ask Him to come into your life as Lord and Saviour. And God has promised that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).