Sharon: Prisoner exchange deal with Hizbullah not to include Fatah leader
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said a prisoner exchange with Hizbullah would need cabinet nod and ruled out West Bank Fatah head Marwan Barghuti's release.
"I intend to put approval of the prisoner exchange deal, if we reach an deal, before the entire cabinet plenum for it to decide," Sharon said in an interview, extracts of which were published Wednesday.
"This is a complex problem of the first order, an issue that is not simple, and a very difficult decision on a moral level. Therefore, in my opinion it should be brought before the entire cabinet ... Let there not be one minister who is not part of the discussion," Sharon told the Tel Aviv-based Maariv daily.
Sharon confirmed that the long-awaited deal was near but warned it was anything but wrapped up. "We are closer than before, but it is still far from being finished," he said.
Sharon denied reports by Arab sources that Barghuti could be released. "Barghuti cannot be a condition for this deal. Barghuti is responsible for acts of murder, and he is going to prison," the Israeli leader said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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