Sharon May Bring Road Map to Cabinet Vote

(Ha'aretz) Aluf Benn and Nathan Guttman - At a White House meeting on Wednesday, Sharon's bureau chief, Dov Weisglass, and U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice agreed to a formula whereby the U.S would officially announce that Israel's comments on the road map will be taken into account in its implementation. On Friday, Jerusalem is expecting to receive the final wording of the U.S. statement regarding Israel's reservations to the road map. If it meets Sharon's approval, he will submit the plan to the cabinet for approval on Sunday. Sharon's office believes that once the U.S. announces its acceptance of Israel's reservations, it will be possible to muster a cabinet majority for the road map. Israel submitted numerous reservations to the plan. It wanted to stiffen the security demands on the Palestinians, delay a settlement freeze until the Palestinians start fighting terror, and ensure that implementation would be monitored just by the U.S. rather than all the members of the Quartet. Washington acceded to most of Israel's requests, but rejected two: that the Palestinians immediately waive their demand for a "right of return," and that the Saudi Arabian initiative, which calls for peace with Israel in exchange for a full withdrawal to the 1967 borders, be removed from the list of the plan's sources of authority.

2003-05-23 00:00:00

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