|Olmert desperate to give away 'many lands'|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 14 December 2006 17:00|
|Peace at any price? If Israeli Prime Minister Olmert has his way, it may be. Ehud Olmert stated today he was making "extraordinary efforts" to start peace negotiations with President Mahmoud Abbas. He also said he was prepared to give up "many, many lands", but final status borders would still have to be negotiated... |
Quote: ""I'm making extraordinary efforts now to try and reach that kind of understanding with Abu Mazen that will allow both of us to start open, bilateral negotiations," Mr Olmert told the BBC. My dream and my policy is of a two state solution Ehud Olmert He said he was "very hopeful" that talks would go ahead "in spite of the difficulties that he (Mr Abbas) experiences all the time".
The European Union formally endorsed a peace initiative today, a plan which Olmert initially rejected. There is already a ceasefire is in place between Israel and the Palestinians. The formation of the Palestinian unity government failed earlier in the month, due to conflict between Hamas and Fatah. Talks on the prisoner release are currently being undertaken by Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy. Now the Israeli Prime Minister is attempting to start direct talks with President Abbas over borders. The final initiative in the peace plan is EU troops in Gaza monitoring the ceasefire.
After fighting a month long war with Hizbullah and the constant rain of Hamas rockets landing in Israel, I find it strange that the Prime Minister is offering so much in return for so little. He said he rejected the EU peace plan because Israel wanted to carry out direct negotiations with the Palestinians. Possibly the reason why Olmert has suddenly become so keen to achieve peace, is because he wants to do it before someone else gets the credit for doing it. And that may also be why British Prime Minister Tony Blair is visiting the region this week. This morning the Prime Minister landed in Turkey for talks on joining the EU.
Quote: "The prime minister, who plans to step down in 2007, has repeatedly said that ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is key to stabilizing Iraq and achieving a broader Middle East peace. He declared in September that "from now until I leave office, I will dedicate myself ... to advancing peace between Israel and Palestine." "I may not succeed. But I will try because peace in the Middle East is a defeat for terrorism," he said.
He said it himself. Blair won't succeed, just like UN Secretary General Kofi Annan didn't succeed...
Quote: "Outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed great sadness on Friday that he couldn't help resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict during his term of office. "It is with great personal sadness that I leave office with the (Israeli) occupation now in its 40th year," he said in a message to a UN-backed conference on Palestine on Friday.
Sorry guys, only leaders of the European Union may apply for this position...