Israeli Official: Clinton to Decide on Summit after Envoy's Visit
US President Clinton will only decide on whether to hold a new Middle East summit after his envoy meets with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, reported The Associated Press, quoting a senior Israeli official.
US mediator Dennis Ross, who is to arrive within a few days, will meet with both sides to hear whether they have narrowed gaps since the failure of last month's summit at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.
"Almost certainly it will be only after this that President Clinton will decide on the fate of another summit," Prime Minister Ehud Barak's senior policy adviser, Danny Yatom, told Israeli army radio.
The possibility of another summit has been debated as the deadline for a final peace treaty looms: The two sides had said they would have a final agreement by September 13th, and the Palestinians have talked about unilaterally declaring statehood on that date even without a treaty.
Arafat must show more flexibility, Yatom said.
He said Israel has already gone a long way toward the Palestinians and cannot "stretch its position" further, said the AP.
He added that if the Palestinians carry out their threat to declare an independent state unilaterally, Israel will annex the areas such as the West Bank where Jewish settlements have been established.
After that, Arafat would control such a small part of the territory that "it will be impossible to run a state," Yatom said - Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)