The three-way summit between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert and US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, ended abruptly today with no official statement reported.
The meeting slated for Monday in west Jerusalem, was expected to involve the discussion of possible means to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, in accordance with the internationally-backed road map peace blueprint and the U.S president Gorge W. Bush’s vision for a two-state solution.
Rice arrived in the region Sunday and met with both leaders separately, voicing hope that the Palestinian factions’ agreement in the Saudi Arabian city of Makkah would pave the way for future peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.
Rice hoped the meeting “will be an opportunity to renew commitment to the peace process by all parties’.
President Abbas, during the meeting with Rice, believed that the summit with Rice and Olmert would focus on substantial issues as well as explore horizons for peace.
Israeli Premier told his cabinet members yesterday that he would shun any Palestinian government that won’t abide by the three demands set forth by the Quartet (United Nations, United States, European Union, Russia); recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting past signed agreements.
“ The Israeli and American positions are identical in this respect”, Olmert maintained.
Palestinian Prime Minister designate, Ismail Haniya, stressed to reporters in Gaza yesterday that he would back President Abbas in a way that makes the agreed unity government successful.
PM Haniya quit the cabinet last Thursday given a letter of authorization by Abbas, in which Abbas asked him to form a unity government based on respecting the Arab and international legitimacy with regard to peace with Israel.
The Quartet has been imposing an economic embargo on the Hamas-led government since the latter has won last January’s legislative elections, demanding that Hamas recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past signed agreements with Israel.