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Olmert. Studying agreement
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Abbas in Mecca
Photo: AFP
Israel not accepting or rejecting Mecca deal, Olmert says
In first public response to understandings reached between Fatah and Hamas, prime minister tells cabinet Israel is studying agreement's details and will then make its stance known
Israel is not accepting or rejecting the agreement signed in Mecca between Fatah and Hamas, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said at the start of the cabinet meeting Sunday.

 

"Israel is studying the details of the agreements and will then make its stance known," he said.

 

The new unity government, according to Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, will honor the agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority, but will not recognize Israel.

 

Earlier, Olmert spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country was one of the first to welcome the agreement and to call on the international community to lift the economic siege imposed on the PA.

 

"I was pleased to hear from him that Russia continues to stick to the Quartet's principles. This is also Israel's stance," the prime minister said, reiterating the list of demands from the Palestinians.

 

According to Olmert, the international community was also studying "what was achieved, what was said and what was the basis for the agreement, if such a basis exists. We have held a series of urgent talks, both the foreign minister and I."

 

Other ministers also refrained from commenting on the issue, explaining that they would first like to study the details of the agreement.

 

Vice Premier Shimon Peres called on the government being established in the PA to exert every effort to accommodate to the Road Map, "The only document accepted by the entire world."

 

According to Peres, implementing the Road Map would "lead to a breakthrough and to the beginning of serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians."

 

Meanwhile, sources at the Prime Minister's Office made it clear that in spite of reports in the Arab media, the three-way summit between Olmert, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would be held as planned next Monday.

 

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