Monday, April 2, 2007
"RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- The PA government has warned that the call of Israeli premier Ehud Olmert on Arab countries to sit and negotiate with him was an attempt to divide the Arab world.
Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghouthi, the PA information minister, charged that the Israeli occupation government is attempting to evade its political obligations for a just and peaceful solution in the region.
“It is clear that Israel is trying to overcome Palestinian legal rights, and directly negotiate with the Arab countries to normalize diplomatic relations with them without solving the Palestinian problem”, Barghouthi said in a press statement he issued and a copy of which was obtained by the PIC.
He also affirmed that Olmert wants to change the idea of an international conference with a comprehensive solution into a regional conference with partial and interim solutions.
On Sunday, Olmert called on the Arab countries to invite him to an Arab-sponsored “peace conference” to discuss and modify the Arab peace initiative, which his government promptly rejected on Thursday.
“By calling for such a conference, Olmert is obviously trying to drive a wedge between the Arab countries and the Palestinians in a bid to sideline Palestinian legal demands, including the right of return among other rights, and to overcome them”, the PA minister furthermore underscored.
Moreover, Barghouthi accused the Israeli occupation government of Olmert of enhancing settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian lands, stealing Palestinian people’s money, and strangling the PA economy among other suffocating practices."