( RIA Novosti ) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is seeking to reach an agreement on key issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a year, while President Bush is still in office, a top Israeli paper said Friday.
Despite his opposition to a rigid timetable for implementing any future peace accord, Olmert believes the support of the Bush administration will play an important role in striking a peace deal on Israeli terms.
Israel wants to retain control over East Jerusalem and key settlements in the West Bank as part of the agreement. Tel Aviv is also demanding that the Palestine National Authority (PNA) disband all terrorist organizations before a Palestinian state can be established.
"We'll never have a more comfortable administration," Haaretz quoted Olmert as saying. "And the next administration will not be committed to these principles to the same degree."
The Bush administration is sponsoring a Mideast peace conference scheduled for November-December in Annapolis, Maryland, which is expected to result in a framework agreement outlining the principles for a peace settlement.
Meanwhile, the Palestinians have called for a detailed agreement specifying each party's commitment on key points, such as borders, Jerusalem, refugees, and Israeli settlements. They are also seeking a rigid timeline for Palestinian statehood.
"I will make no concessions [to Israel] at the conference in Annapolis, but will demand that UN Security Council resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the road map be implemented," PNA leader Mahmoud Abbas told the Egyptian MENA agency on October 30.
These documents provide for an independent Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem within the borders established before the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, and for the return of Palestinian refugees.
"Nothing can make us agree to less than has been decided by the international community," Abbas said, urging a comprehensive consideration of all issues within the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.