'Don't miss opportunity.' Aboul Gheit at UN
Photo: Reuters
Intense efforts. Clinton
Photo: AP

Egyptian FM: Slim chance for peace deal

Addressing UN General Assembly, Aboul Gheit urges Israel to make 'difficult decisions,' warns it would shoulder 'full responsibility before region and world public opinion' if settlement freeze not maintained

Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit warned Israel it would bear the blame if the peace talks break down over the issue of settlements.


"If Israel fails in its commitment to continue freezing its settlement activities, then it would expose the negotiation process to failure and it would shoulder full responsibility before the region and world public opinion," he told the UN General Assembly on Saturday.


"Israel should also bear the responsibility for any negative consequences," he said.


Earlier, US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "We are doing everything we can to keep the parties in direct talks."


The settlement construction moratorium is set to expire on Sunday.


Egyptian FM addresses General Assembly (Photo: AFP)


In his speech, Aboul Gheit said the chances of Israel and the Palestinians signing a peace agreement "remain slim," but added that Cairo views the negotiations as an opportunity that "should not be missed."


The Egyptian FM called on Israel to make "difficult and necessary decisions, saying, "There is no doubt that the issue of a settlement freeze in occupied Palestinian territory has become a key element in determining Israel's intentions and how committed it is to the success of the negotiations."


Also on Saturday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the General Assembly that "Israel must choose between peace and the continuation of settlements."


Reuters contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 09.25.10, 23:56
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