Saturday, February 17, 2007
Livni: PA coalition gov't fails to meet Quartet demands
"Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said on Saturday a unity government deal between Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas did not satisfy the demands of the international community.
Her comments marked a hardening of Israel's public response to the deal. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said earlier this week that Israel "neither rejects nor accepts the agreements".
"Unfortunately, before the formation of the future Palestinian government, the understandings do not meet the requirements of the international community," Livni said with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at her side......
A political source in Jerusalem said earlier Saturday that Olmert and U.S. President George W. Bush "see eye to eye on the need of any future Palestinian government to meet the demands of the Quartet" of Middle East peacemakers, following a telephone conversation between the two leaders Friday.
Olmert and Bush also discussed the Mecca agreement to form a Palestinian unity government of Hamas and Fatah and the issue of Iran's nuclear development.....
Palestinian negotiatior Saeb Erekat, however, said Welch reiterated Washington's insistence that the new coalition accept the conditions laid out by the so-called Quartet of peacemakers - the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union - that any Palestinian government must recognize Israel, renounce violence and honor previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
"We are going to judge this government according to its commitment to the
Quartet conditions," Erekat quoted the American envoy saying.....
But a senior Palestinian official said: "The Americans have informed us that they will be boycotting the new government headed by Hamas. The Fatah and independent ministers will be treated the same way that Hamas ministers are treated."
Jacob Walles, the U.S. consul general in Jerusalem, then delivered the same message to Abbas in person Thursday, the aides said.
The aides said the U.S. officials indicated that all members of the future unity government, including independents and those belonging to Fatah, would be shunned. The U.S. government would still maintain ties with Abbas and his office, the aides added......"