Sharon says Abu Ala more likely to succeed than Abu Mazen
Israeli Prime Minister said he has no problem meeting newly elected Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala), in comments published Sunday.
"I don't have any problem meeting him. I've known him for many years," the Israeli leader told the Washington Post, in an interview.
"He's a clever politician and will be able to maneuver better than the former prime minister, Abu Mazen. Abu Ala is a shrewd businessman. When you negotiate with him, you have to say, "Look, I'm ready to do this and that. What are you going to give?"
Sharon also said he and Abu Ala "have to meet".
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Sharon said, "I want to solve the problem. In the coming years, I don't foresee any change here in government; I don't see the left (coming to power). "To take hard decisions, you must have a wide consensus. The left cannot have that. I can do that".
Asked what Israel's policy would be with regards to assassination of Palestinian activists if Abu Ala would reach a cease-fire with Palestinian groups, Sharon said, "If terror stops, there is no reason for Israel to make targeted interceptions."
When asked if he would be willing to stop building the so-called "security fence", the Israeli PM said, "The fence is a means to stop terrorist infiltration into the center of Israel - to make it harder to send a suicide bomber. But it is not a political fence. (It) doesn't represent the border between us and the Palestinians." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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