Israel: Palestinians must Fight Terrorism before any Peace Talks
Israel demands that the Palestinian leadership work to end "terrorism" in the area before peace talks can resume, Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami said on public radio Thursday.
Speaking by phone from Stockholm, the minister said: "In the coming days, we have to tackle the root of the problem... If we perceive in the next few days that the Palestinians are making an effort in the fight against terrorism, then we can return to the negotiating table.
"(Palestinian leader) Yasser Arafat is making efforts in this direction, and we want to see how this manifests itself on the ground," he added.
"My government has opted for a political settlement according to the constitution. We are morally bound to do everything possible to avoid another Middle East war... Arafat has said that he wants to finalize talks with Israel during (US President Bill) Clinton's mandate, but has been slow in giving a response," to the American leader's peace proposals, Ben Ami said.
Clinton's tenure at the White House ends on January 20.
On Wednesday, Arafat, during a trip to Washington, gave conditional support to the Clinton plan.
According to the radio report, Ben Ami will lead an Israeli delegation for talks in Washington on Sunday. Palestinian negotiators are also due to fly to Washington.
Israeli Transport Minister Amnon Lipkin Shahak, a former army leader, is to hold discussions in Cairo soon on setting up a trilateral body with the Palestinians and Americans on the prevention of terrorism and violence, the radio added -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
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