Report: US to Put European, Arab Allies' Pressure on Arafat
Washington will enlist the aid of its European and Arab allies to persuade Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to accept the peace deal he turned down at Camp David, the Washington Post said Thursday.
"One thing we want the Palestinians to know is that we've made a supreme effort here, the door is still open, but we need something from them," an unidentified senior US official told the daily.
US Envoy to the Middle East, Dennis Ross, will travel to the Middle East during the next several weeks to build on progress made during the 15-day summit that ended Tuesday at Camp David, Maryland, the daily said.
Simultaneously, Assistant Secretary for Near East affairs Edward Walker will go on a tour of friendly Arab capitals to brief Arab leaders on the summit and drum up support for a compromise on Jerusalem, the daily said.
It is not certain, however, that the United States will be able to convince its allies to pressure Arafat into making concessions, the daily said.
"The common experience is if you twist their arms to accept something they don't like, it won't work," an unidentified European diplomat told the daily.
"We will not do what the Americans have done, which is to say someone has done a better job than the other, because we believe it makes it worse," the diplomat added.
A senior US diplomat disputed the view that Washington failed to understand Arafat's inter-Arab responsibilities and domestic constituency, in terms of his bottom line on Jerusalem.
"The fact is we went out of our way to find a solution on Jerusalem that addressed Arafat's problems in the Muslim world and the Arab world," the official said.
"They just weren't willing to accept ... what we came up with and what in the end could have been accepted by the Israelis," he added - WASHINGTON (AFP)
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