Monday, September 7, 2009

US Sources: Many Arab States Pledging Normalization with Israel


"07/09/2009 U.S. special Mideast envoy George Mitchell has managed to obtain "pledges" from many Arab states for various steps toward normalization with Israel, some more significant and some less so, senior U.S. government officials told Haaretz on Sunday.

That is one of the main questions to which Israel is hoping to receive an answer when Mitchell arrives later this week or early next: “what steps toward normalization the Arab states have agreed to take in exchange for a partial freeze [Is this like being partially pregnant?] in West Bank settlements.”

Sources in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry all said that Israel still does not have a clear picture of what quid pro quos Mitchell has managed to obtain in his talks with these states.......

According to the U.S. officials, some Arab states have agreed to let Israel open offices in their territory, others have agreed to grant visas to Israeli businessmen and tourists, and still others have offered to allow direct telephone connections between Israel and their countries. A few Arab countries have agreed to hold high-level public meetings with senior Israeli officials, and others have agreed to let Israeli planes fly through their air space or even land at their airports........"

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