Report on truce by mid-December denied; Israel to accept only US involvement in implementing road map
Palestinian factions agreed to attend a truce conference in Cairo in 12 days, officials said Thursday.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, who took office last week, has made a cease-fire a top priority.
Qurei said the Cairo truce talks would start Dec. 2, and representatives of all 13 factions are invited. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups have already said they would attend. Nafez Azzam, an Islamic Jihad leader, said the group "will deal positively with any ideas that will serve the interests of our people," The AP reported.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad denied an Israeli report that a cease-fire would go into effect by Dec. 15.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister office issued a statement Thursday saying that Israel would accept only United States involvement in implementing the road map.
The statement came the day after the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to formally adopt the road map as a means of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"The judgment regarding implementation of the deal will be in the hands of the United States," the statement said. "Israel will not accept any other involvement in implementation of the deal."
Sharon's office said Thursday that it is committed to the road map, but has 14 reservations. These include a demand that the Palestinians first dismantle "terror" groups and that the United States monitor the deal. It also said implementation would be through "negotiations and agreements between Israel and the Palestinians." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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