Abbas Tells Olmert: It's All or Nothing
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for less than an hour on Sunday and said, "Either we agree on all issues, or no agreement at all." Prime Minister Olmert "entered the meeting in a weakened position after his decision to submit his resignation this month when his party picks a new leader," according to reports filed by the French news agency AFP and the Associated Press.
In describing the entrance to the Prime Minister's official residence where the talks took place, the journalists pointed out that "Israeli police passed through the same entrance to interrogate Olmert for the seventh time in a series of corruption cases" last Friday.
Israeli police passed through the same entrance to interrogate Olmert for the seventh time in a series of corruption cases.
As the meeting broke up, the Israeli leader grabbed Abbas's hand, posed for photographers and exclaimed, "We have to complete the Annapolis process this year - this year."
But his words fell on deaf ears, and PA negotiator Saeb Erakat told AP that the PA will not consider a pact that does not settle the issue of the status of Jerusalem and the Arab demand for the immigration of several million foreign Arabs into Israel, which it refers to as the "right of return."
"We want an agreement to end the (Israeli) occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," Erekat said.
Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Olmert, tried to maintain an optimistic view and commented that "considerable progress has been made" although there are still "considerable gaps" between the two sides. He did not reveal details.