Security Situation Prompts Sharon Decision to Delay London, Washington Visits
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon plans to put off his scheduled mid-November visits to London and Washington due to the worsening security situation in at home, Israeli public radio reported Monday, cited by AFP.
But Haaretz newspaper cited the same report as saying the hawkish leader “may" delay the trip due to the security situation.
The US administration had expected the prime minister to bring new proposals for promoting the peace process.
On his way to the US, the prime minister was to have met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, but Blair said Monday that he would instead come to Israel on Thursday, said the Tel Aviv-based daily.
The radio said Sharon had written to British and American officials to inform them of the change of plans.
It was not possible to obtain immediate official confirmation of the reports.
Sharon was to have left for Washington on November 11 to address American Jewish organizations at the invitation of the United Jewish Communities, representing 189 Jewish groups.
The prime minister's office had earlier said Sharon would visit the US at the start of November, without giving dates or details. Israeli radio had said he would meet President George W. Bush during the trip.
Palestinian officials say that Sharon has nothing new to add to his plan for a Palestinian state, which he wants on 40-50 percent of the Occupied Territories, disarmed and with no authority over security matters – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)