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Olmert. Firm demands
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Photo: AP
Abbas. 'Must battle terror'
Photo: AP
Olmert threatens to boycott Palestinian Authority
Prime minister says Israel will not recognize Palestinian government or cooperate with it without full Palestinian adherence to Quartet's prerequisites
Israel will refuse to recognize the Palestinian Authority or cooperate with it if the latter fails to accept the international Quartet's conditions in full, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday.

 

Speaking at a cabinet meeting one day ahead of his summit with PA President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Olmert said that Israel's stance on the matter was "unequivocal."

 

The Quartet demands that the Palestinian government renounce violence, recognize Israel and honor accords signed with Israel in the past.

 

The prime minister also stated that Washington and Jerusalem saw eye to eye on the matter. "The president (George W. Bush) has expressed his agreement and full understanding regarding the status of the Palestinian government," Olmert said.

 

Olmert, who is slated to meet Rice later in the day, also stressed that the demand to fulfill the Quartet's prerequisites did not come at the expense of other demands, namely the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

 

During the cabinet meeting Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that "the summit will be held against the backdrop of the Mecca deal between Fatah and Hamas. Israel, like the international community, must insist that the Palestinians fulfill all the conditions."

 

Livni added that the Hamas-Fatah agreements fail to adhere to these conditions, saying that Israel must ascertain that the Palestinian authorities are battling terror, and not negotiating with the terror groups.

 

Abbas must attempt to "isolate the moderate elements from the extremist elements in the Authority," she stated.

 

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