Arafat: Clinton Plan does not Remove \'Obstacles to Peace\'
The compromise ideas put forward by US President Bill Clinton do not remove the "obstacles to peace," Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said Monday on his return to the Gaza Strip from Cairo.
"There are still many obstacles" to be lifted before a peace agreement can be reached between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the Palestinian leader said.
Arafat explained that the Palestinians needed to examine the Clinton proposals more closely before they could give their response, and emphasized that "some of the proposals had not been modified since the Camp David summit," where the Palestinians rejected the Israeli ideas.
The Palestinian leader, who had just flown back from a meeting in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, said he wanted to coordinate his peace efforts with Egypt and Jordan.
"We will quickly give our answer to the US proposals, but they are not far-reaching enough to find an agreement. ... We need further details," top Arafat adviser Nabil Abu Rudeina said.
The aide announced that Palestinian negotiators would gather Monday night in Gaza City to take stock of the situation.
After five days of talks, Isareli and Palestinian negotiators met Saturday in the White House with Clinton, who made the proposals in a last-ditch bid to reach a peace agreement.
Clinton has asked Arafat and Israeli caretaker Prime Minister Ehud Barak to decide by Wednesday whether to accept the US compromise ideas on east Jerusalem, the Palestinian refugees and the borders of a Palestinian state -- GAZA CITY (AFP)
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