Israel Rejects to Hold Negotiations, Discuss Jordanian-Israeli Plan unless 'Palestinians Stop Attacks'
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday told Jordan's Foreign Minister Abdel Ilah al-Khatib that Israel would neither hold diplomatic negotiations nor discuss any diplomatic plan before a complete cessation of Palestinian attacks against Israel, reported The Jerusalem Post newspaper.
Khatib arrived in Jerusalem on Monday, despite Israel's raid on Syrian targets in Lebanon.
During their meeting in Jerusalem, Sharon told the Jordanian minister that change should come about in two stages: first, by an end to the violence; and then, by a return to the negotiating table.
Khatib visited Jerusalem to officially present the Sharon government with a joint Egyptian-Jordanian proposal for restoring calm between Israel and the Palestinians and for the renewal of their diplomatic negotiations.
During a press conference with his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, the latter said that Israel would carefully study the plan.
Khatib called the air raid "unjust" and said it would adversely affect regional stability and damage the interests of all sides.
"I hope you also see the Hizbollah attack against us as completely unacceptable," Peres responded.
Israeli sources had told Haaretz that Sharon will tell Khatib that Israel expects Jordan to reinstate its ambassador to the country.
Khatib, however, told reporters that the Jordan's ambassador for Israel will only return if the situation improves, the closure (on the West Bank and Gaza Strip)lifted, and military force is no longer used against our Palestinians brethren."
"Jordan wants to fulfill the role of a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, and one of the prerequisites for this is the return of the ambassador," a diplomatic source in Jerusalem told the paper - Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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