Sharon's Revised "Road Map"

(Ha'aretz)Aluf Benn - Prime Minister Sharon is conducting a quiet diplomatic race in an attempt to shape the international "road map" for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sharon wants to replace the current road map with a plan to be approved by Israel and the U.S., neutralizing the EU's influence and its desire to use the road map to impose a settlement. The Quartet at their meeting in London last week agreed on a structure for the supervising mechanism, which will track the behavior of the sides and determine whether conditions have ripened for progress. Israel is not enthusiastic about the international inspection of its activities, and regards that as a dangerous "internationalization of the conflict." Already last year, Israel proposed a different model to the Americans, in which supervision would be only of the Palestinian side, and would be dominated by the Americans. The inspectors' roles would be well-defined and limited. The Prime Minster's Office is convinced that the U.S. will listen to Israel's comments, just as it took into consideration Israel's corrections for the preparation of an early draft of the road map. A government source said Tuesday that the road map will "anyway wait" for the end of the Iraq war, since the Bush administration doesn't have any available energy right now for anything other than the Iraqi crisis. The Israeli-Palestinian crisis is far from the top of the American agenda, said the government source.

2003-02-26 00:00:00

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