Report: Barak Expects US Bridging Paper At Camp David Summit
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said he expects the United States to present a bridging document to help strike a deal with the Palestinians at the Camp David summit, public radio reported Tuesday.
The United States will apparently present some suggested compromises in the coming days, Barak told reporters on his plane to the United States.
Barak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat are due to kick off their key peace summit later Tuesday.
Barak said the negotiations will be "difficult because the American positions are closer to those of the Palestinians than ours," Israeli radio reported.
Barak, however, said that the death last month of Syria's president Hafez al-Assad, who opposed the autonomy accords signed between Israel and the Palestinians, will "improve the atmosphere in the region."
Barak said the passing of Assad, who ruled Syria for three-decades, gave Arafat more room to maneuver in the summit-level negotiations.
The Israeli prime minister said that Israeli intelligence services had been placed on high alert and that they were cooperating with Palestinian security services and those of Arab counties to avoid any attacks designed to derail the peace summit, held under the auspices of US President Bill Clinton.
If an accord is reached at Camp David, Barak intends to ask for increased financial aid, the radio said.
Barak left Israel for the United States late Monday after surviving a no-confidence vote submitted by the opposition in parliament.
In brief remarks before he boarded his plane, Barak called on the Palestinians to end their threats against Israel.
"If there is to be an accord at the end of this summit, it can only happen if the Palestinians accept making painful compromises and cease their accusations and their threats," he said.
Clinton said Monday he was confident that there was a chance of success at the summit and praised the leaders for having the courage to try to end their half-century conflict.
"Both Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat have the vision, the knowledge, the experience and the ability and sheer guts to do what it takes ... to reach an agreement, and then to take it back to their people and see if they can sell it," Clinton said -- OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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