Israel Unlikely to Embrace Revival of Arab Peace Initiative


netanyahuSecretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday embraced a proposal by Qatar’s foreign minister to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians based upon the Arab Peace Initiative, introduced in 2002. However, a senior Israeli official suggested that the initiative’s framework was unlikely to be embraced as a starting point for talks. “Israel is prepared to begin negotiations at any time, in any place and without any early conditions, and expects the Palestinian side to avoid making early conditions,” the official said. “The sides will have the opportunity to introduce their positions when the negotiations begin.”

Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN and a longtime analyst of the peace process who is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said the critical question was whether Qatar was reviving the peace initiative as a “take-it-or-leave-it proposition,” as it was originally proffered, or as “an invitation to a negotiated settlement whose final terms remain to be decided.”

{ Israel News Bureau}