Zinni Leaves the Region, Hoping for Progress; Sharon States Arafat Knew About the Arms-Smuggling Ship
U.S. envoy to the Middle East Anthony Zinni obtained agreement from both Israel and the Palestinians on Sunday to view the "Dahaniyeh Outline," which was agreed-upon by Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on September 26 but was not implemented, as a basis for truce discussion.
Zinni, who left the region Sunday night, participated in a joint Israeli-Palestinian security meeting Sunday afternoon in which implementation of the "Dahaniyeh Outline" for a cease-fire was discussed.
According to Haaretz, the latest cease-fire plan was worked out during a meeting held more than three months ago between Peres and Arafat at Gaza's air terminal in Dahaniyeh in southern Gaza. The outline furnishes details relevant to the implementation of the Tenet cease-fire plan and spells out immediate, mutual steps to be taken by Israel and the Palestinians, along with a timetable for these steps.
Under the Dahaniyeh plan, the PA is to take concrete steps against “terror”, and Israel is to lift closures, and ease other restrictions on the Palestinians.
Summing up his visit, Zinni declared that alongside serious challenges, it is clear that there are real opportunities for progress. He will return to the region on January 18 for another round of talks, at which he will assess the sides' readiness for the implementation of the Tenet report.
Sharon Blames Arafat
Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon said Sunday that it goes without saying that Palestinian President Arafat knew about the Karin-A, the ship smuggling weapons, seized by Israeli Naval Commandos on Thursday.
Speaking at a press conference Sunday at a naval port in Eilat, Sharon stated that Arafat has broken dozens of agreements, not only with Israel, but with other Arab countries as well. The Israeli Prime Minister added that this puts into question any agreement that will be signed with Arafat in the future. Sharon added that "the Palestinian Authority is a central part in the international terror network, with Iran at its center."
Meanwhile, top political advisor to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Dr. Osama al-Baz, said Sunday in Cairo that if it was proven that the Palestinian Authority was behind the arms-smuggling attempt, then it was a serious blow to the peace process. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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