December 3, 2006

THANKS, AHMADENIJAD:

Saudis lead Israel peace bid (Uzi Mahnaimi, 12/03/06, Sunday Times of London)

THE Saudi Arabian government is emerging as a key player in talks to broker a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace agreement.

According to senior Israeli sources, Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, will soon meet high-ranking Saudi officials to explore the formation of a group of moderate Arab countries to negotiate with Tel Aviv over the future of the Middle East.

A preliminary meeting between Olmert and a leading Saudi representative took place in Amman, the Jordanian capital, at the end of September. According to Israeli sources, the Saudi was Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former ambassador to Washington and one of the closest advisers to King Abdullah, the Saudi ruler.

Olmert is believed to be considering a Saudi initiative, endorsed by the Arab League four years ago, as the basis for a peace settlement.

This would include the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and could lead to a formal peace deal between Israel and seven Arab countries: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, the Emirates, Morocco and Tunisia.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 3, 2006 2:58 PM
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