Damascus Forecasts Failure of US Peace Plan
The US proposals for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement will fail because they ignore the main principles of the peace process, including Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, ruling party daily Al-Baath said Wednesday.
"The US proposals carry the seeds of failure and will produce no result, even if Ehud Barak's Israeli government and Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority accept them", the newspaper said.
"The US does not understand the Arab-Israeli conflict, because the proposals disregard the most crucial principles in the peace process, that is to say Israeli pullback behind the June 4, 1967 lines, including Jerusalem, and the Palestinians’ unconditional right of return", Al-Baath said.
For its part, government daily Tishrin said the Clinton proposals "ignore the Palestinian people's sacred right of return and self-determination, and give the Israelis what they are not entitled to".
Clinton's proposals reportedly involve Israel turning over control of Arab neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem to the Palestinians along with the al-Aqsa mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.
Israel would also pull out from the Gaza Strip and 95 percent of the West Bank.
Barak, Arafat and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are due to hold a summit in Egypt on Thursday.
News of the summit comes as the two sides ready responses to the peace plan proposed by Bill Clinton, keen to clinch a deal before he leaves office on January 20 -- DAMASCUS (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)