Israeli sources reported on Monday that a dispute between the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, could cause uncertainty over the planned US/ Israeli/Palestinian summit in Jerusalem next Monday.The dispute is over which topics should be discussed on the summit agenda, an Israeli online daily reported.
US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, insists that the meeting should be conducted to demonstrate the progress in “Israeli-Palestinian relations”.
Israeli governmental sources said that Olmert is refusing to hold talks on the key issues of any final-status peace agreement. The issues are the Palestinian refugees, the final status of Jerusalem, and the Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 occupied territories.
A senior Israeli source said that Abbas will have to make compromises over these issues, but such an agreement that does not include a solution to these issues will not be approved by the Palestinian people.
Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, also believes that final-status talks should not be discussed now, the Israeli daily added.
Livni believes that these issues, if discussed now, will cause the talks to fail which will result in renewed clashes- as occured after the Camp David Summit in July 2000.
The Israeli daily also reported that Olmert and Livni insist that all talks should be theoretical and that their actual implementation should be conditioned by a Palestinian fulfillment of the Road Map Plan, although Israel itself did not fully approve the Plan.
Also, Olmert stated that the three-way summit isn’t a substitute for direct Palestinian – Israeli talks.
Meanwhile, President Abbas said on Sunday that he agreed with Rice that it is very important to start talks about permanent borders, settlements and the refugees’ case. Abbas also said that he rejects a Palestinian state with temporal borders.
The United States sent a team to Israel to start preparing for the summit. US officials said that the meeting might take place in Olmert’s office, his residence or at the King David Hotel where Rice will reside.