First Published: 2003-06-02

 
No joint statement after Aqaba summit
 

Israeli official says no prior agreement has been reached on text because of fundamental differences.

 

Middle East Online

Will Aqaba summit be a positive move towards peace?

JERUSALEM - The Middle East peace summit in Jordan will produce no joint statement from Israel and the Palestinians because of basic differences on the way ahead, an Israeli official said Monday.

"There will be no common statement because we have reached no prior agreement on the text, despite the efforts of US diplomacy," the senior official said.

Official Palestinian sources confirmed the two parties had been unable to reach a deal on the planned statement despite mediation by US Middle East envoy William Burns.

The fundamental differences concerned "the recognition by the Palestinians of Israel as a Jewish state, in exchange for full recognition of a Palestinian state," the Israeli official said on condition of anonymity.

"There will be no joint statement, because we did not reach an agreement on the text, despite the sustained effort of the US diplomacy."

He said the main sticking point was the issue of "the Palestinians' recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, in exchange for full recognition of a Palestinian state.

"Given that the Palestinians refuse to accept this formula, it has been decided that there will be separate statements from each of the parties at the end of the summit," the official said.

On Thursday an advisor to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said the two sides would publish a joint statement on the international peace roadmap after they meet in the Jordanian Red Sea resort of Aqaba on Wednesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian counterpart Mahmud Abbas are to meet with US President George W. Bush.

Israel insists on its demand for the recognition of a Jewish state, in order to counter the "right of return" of 3.7 million Palestinian refugees that would affect the demographic balance and which the Jewish state rejects.

According to Israeli public radio, the Israeli statement will only mention a Palestinian state in reference to "President Bush's vision" on the issue.

In his statement, Sharon is also expected to stress the need for Israel to put an end to its "rule" over the Palestinians, without using the term "occupation".

Sharon shocked Israel last week when he warned against the negative consequences of Israel's "occupation regime".

Following the outcry his comments caused among his right-wing supporters, he revised his words and stressed that the appropriate term was "the disputed territories".

Sharon is also expected Wednesday to announce the dismantling of a number of Jewish settlement outposts set up since he took power in March 2001, but not all of them as requested by the roadmap.

Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Zeev Boim has said no more than 10 of the settlements built on Palestinian land are slated for evacuation, among the more than 60 counted by the Peace Now group.

 

Turkey denies truce with Kurdish forces in northern Syria

Who killed ISIS top strategist: US Predator drone or Russian Su-34?

UN envoy to Security Council: Return to ceasefire 'critical' for Yemen

Italy rescues some 6,500 migrants off Libya

Fight against sexual harassment in Egypt bearing fruit

Iran arrests dual national for ‘acting against national security’

Kurdish activists call Turkey hunger strike over fate of Ocalan

US ‘horrified’ at South Sudan child soldier recruitment reports

Coalition raids kill 16 in Yemen: rebels

Fatal road accident leaves Tunisia in shock

One year after Merkel migrant offer, EU remains deeply divided

Israel police chief criticised for comments on minorities

Bomb kills woman in eastern Lebanon

Israel okays 466 settlement homes in occupied West Bank

Russia claims killing of ISIS top strategist in Syria

Turkey does 'not accept' truce with Syria Kurds

Retired Iran general killed in northern Syria

Two jihadists killed in Tunisia nighttime raid

Migrants race to Libya before end of summer

Iran urges Turkey to end Syria intervention

IS spokesman killed in Syria's Aleppo

Turkey, Syria Kurds reach agreement to stop fighting

Sweden jails Syrian refugee for setting fire to hostel

Turkey arrests editor from top daily in post-coup crackdown

Qaeda-linked group claims deadly ambush in Western Tunisia

France criticizes Turkey’s intervention in Syria

Turkey risks getting bogged down in Syria's war

Shabaab suicide car bomb targets Somalia hotel

US drone strike kills Qaeda suspect in Yemen

Qatar-Turkey relations continue to build upon strong alliance

Libya says last chemical weapons stocks shipped out

World Vision calls for transparent trial in 'Hamas aid' case

UN aid going to Assad-linked companies

Iran to cover infertility treatments

Top UN official calls for response to South Sudan refugee crisis

Obama to meet Erdogan on Syria over weekend

Libyan forces corner IS fighters in last Sirte holdouts

Tunisia's new unity government takes office

3 Saudi children killed in Yemen cross-border shelling

18 killed in suicide attack in Iraq oasis town

60 killed in suicide bomb attack on Yemen army camp

Turkey's bombings kill civilians in northern Syria

Iran arrests 'nuclear spy'

Egypt frees renowned rights lawyer, Malek Adly

In Saudi city of Najran, Huthis commit war crimes with indiscriminate rockets