U.S. Urges Three-Way Talks for Peace

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CBNNews.com - WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has called for trilateral talks to bolster Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice relayed the proposal to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week in Washington.

The US proposal calls for Rice to sit in on negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and suggests a change in venue from Jerusalem to Europe or Washington.

Meanwhile, Chief PA negotiator Ahmed Qureia announced over the weekend that the sides have begun drafting an agreement.

"We agreed with the Israelis to begin writing these positions down," Qureia said. "Should negotiators reach agreement on an issue, they will then draft a single provision. If not, they will lay their divergent views on paper," he said.

Qureia's announcement angered opposition members of Knesset (MKs), who say that Israel's next Knesset won't abide by the provisions of such a document.

"It is important to emphasize that the next government will not recognize this document," said MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu).

MK Silvan Shalom (Likud), who will present a bill to dissolve the current Knesset, called Qureia's announcement "another spin aimed at creating the visage of a peace process."

Likud fation chairman MK Gideon Sa'ar said Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni are "selling Israel's national interests."

"The only reason to put these things in writing is to force the next government to be stuck with wide-reaching concessions," Sa'ar said.

"The attempt to do so during the last moments of the Livni-Olmert government should be seen as a scandalous attempt at kidnapping policy," he said.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz

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