Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Senators slam lack of Arab support

by Hilary Leila Krieger from The Jerusalem Post

Close to 80 senators - including all those running for president - signed a letter calling for greater Arab support for the peace process ahead of the international conference the US is planning for November ... Israel has been pressing for Saudi representation at the meeting, which so far has no official list of invitees. A Saudi presence is seen as significant because of the legitimacy it would confer on the proceedings in the wider Arab community, as well as provide a boost to Israeli aspirations for normalized relations with its regional neighbors. The letter also calls for Arab countries to "recognize Israel's right to exist and not use such recognition as a bargaining chip for future Israeli concessions" and to "pressure Hamas to recognize Israel, reject terror and accept prior agreements, and isolate Hamas until it takes such steps." But those very stipulations would derail the effort to get the Saudis on board by setting preconditions and criticizing Saudi efforts at mediation between Fatah and Hamas, the Arab American Institute argued on its Web site.

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