American do not Act as Mediators, says British Expert

Great Britain, London, 26 April / corr. Trend G. Ahmadova/ The visit of Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas to the U.S. is an attempt of a desperate Palestinian president to involve the Americans in the talks and push them to mediate and bridge the gap between Israel and the PA.

"The meeting of Abbas and Bush is an attempt of a desperate Palestinian president to involve the Americans in the talks and push them to mediate and bridge the gap between Israel and the PA," said Menachem Klein, the British expert.

The two-day visit of Palestinian leader to Washington ended on 25 April. Abbas expessed his disappointment over lack of progress in the negotiations with Bush. According to Abbas, he could not achieve any progress in talks with the U.S. President on Near East, reported Associated Press on 25 April.

"The Americans do not act as mediators but just show some interest in the talks and in other times take the Israeli side," Klein, the British expert of Eurasian origin said to Trend on 25 April. According to the expert, there are serious gaps between Israel and the PA on the goal of their talks. the PA wants a framework agreement of a comprehensive peace treaty while Israel and the USA want a declaration of principals that will be put on the shelf, not binding and not actual," Klein said.

According to expert, for them only the unimplemented Road Map is relevant. By that Israel can postpone the negotiations and create more facts on the ground exploiting Abbas weakness, and the American administration can continue implementing its conflict management policy instead of conflict resolution that Abbas asks for. Condoleezza Rice's recent visit in the region ended with serious disagreement with Abbas and therefore he was invited to Washington before Bush's visit the region again.

Klein is pessimistic of talks between Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert and Abbas and the talks between foreign ministers of both parties. "I doubt if the current talks between Israeli and Palestinian top leaders can be called 'negotiations' because the structure of a negotiation is different then what we have. Instead of heaving two teams dealing with a range of subject and working on a joint text we have two small teams of two from each side and no text composition. Once the sides will begin their negotiations they must include Jerusalem in their agenda not only because of the international law but also because with out dealing with the subject there is no deal," Klein said.

By building more settlements in annexed Jerusalem and adjacent to it Israel tries to minimize Jerusalem areas that it will give back to the Palestinians', the expert said. "The concept that directed Israeli negotiators in 2000 was that Palestinian Jerusalem will be much smaller and weaker then Jewish Jerusalem. Israel does what ever it can in order to impose this concept, based on the current power relations between the sides. At the moment Abbas continue to talk to Olmert despite intensive Israeli operation to build thousands of new residential unites in East Jerusalem for Jewish settlers. If the current situation prevails [meaning no change in the PA policy and no external pressure on Israel to stop] I can see Israel continuing to build in order to preempt the negotiation results. However the expansion of Israeli settlements cannot impose the solution just to expend the problem. However the expansion of Israeli settlements cannot impose the solution just to expend the problem," the expert added.

In April Bush stated his intentions to hold talks with the head of Palestinian administration, the Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert and representatives from Egypt and Jordan. The date of the talks is not yet available but it is expected to be held on 17 or 18 May. The talks are most likely to be held in resort city of Egypt Sharm-al-Sheik and will be continuation of the conference on Near East in U.S. Annapolis city in November 2007.

In November 2007, an international conference on the peaceful settlement of Near East conflict was held in Annapolis. During the conference Israel and Palestine came to an agreement on a joint document which will enable to begin talks on 'all key issues'. The peace talks between Israel and Palestine are expected to end by the end of 2008.

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