Gulf Papers: Camp David Summit Failure a 'Victory for Palestinians'
The collapse of the marathon Camp David peace summit represented a victory for Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and was another example of an Israeli betrayal, Gulf newspapers said Wednesday.
"The failure of this summit is a victory for the Palestinian negotiators," proclaimed Al-Khaleej of the United Arab Emirates.
The refusal of the Palestinians to make any concessions, especially on Jerusalem, had also "corrected several mistakes made by Palestinian negotiators in the past under the Oslo accords."
"The Palestinian Authority today has a historic chance to unite the Palestinian ranks to recoup their legitimate rights, at the head of which is Jerusalem," Al-Khaleej said.
"Israel once again let down the world. It came almost like a betrayal," the Emirati paper Gulf Today charged, saying the talks failed because of the "intransigence of the Jewish state" and the "ingrained stubbornness" of its leaders.
"The collapse of the marathon Camp David talks will again keep the Middle East tension simmering," it said, blasting Barak for bowing to political pressure rather than seeking to live as "good neighbors" with the Palestinians.
But it added that the collapse should "embolden the Palestinians to go ahead with Arafat's plan to declare unilaterally independence by September 13th."
Al-Ittihad said that US President Bill Clinton "desperately wanted the summit to meet with success, even if limited, on condition that it satisfied the Israelis but not necessarily the Palestinians."
"Such a success would have been like an illegitimate child that no-one acknowledges and that's why the summit failed."
The Dubai daily Khaleej Times said the failure of the talks came as "no surprise."
"An event dictated by the American electoral calendar and the Israeli prime minister's belief that the United States could deliver Arab agreement on a patently unjust and flawed formula could not succeed," it said.
But "there will be a measure of relief in the Middle East inasmuch as failure is better than a flawed agreement."
"The stark reality is that neither the Israelis nor the Americans are prepared to accept the minimum demands of the Palestinians on occupied east Jerusalem. In immediate terms, cool heads on all sides must consider their strategies before events overtake them," it said.
The Qatari paper Al-Raya, which reflects the official point of view, said the summit's failure benefited the Palestinians because they refused to make concessions.
"The Palestinians succeeded in breaking the ban Israel imposed on talks on the issue of Jerusalem and forced it to recognize its readiness to withdraw from certain parts of the city and put them under joint sovereignty," Al-Raya said.
Doha-based Al-Watan, meanwhile, said "Israel and the United States, who have not spared any effort to put pressure on the Palestinians, share the responsibility of this failure." - DUBAI (AFP)
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