Sharm el-Sheikh/Jerusalem (dpa) - Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have made serious and intensive progress toward formulating a peace treaty, and the world community should not intervene in the talks, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said Sunday, dpa reported. In a statement summing up Livni's remarks to the sponsors of the peace process at a summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Livni was quoted as saying that to date, the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams had held hundreds of meetings and the sides believed the elements, the principles and the guiding principles for an agreement were in place. But, Livni said, the sides also requested the international community to support the process and to honour the bilateral, confidential aspects of the negotiations, without intervening or submitting unsuitable bridging proposals or initiatives. The briefing in Sharm el-Sheikh comes one year after Annapolis peace summit, which kindled the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon were present at the meeting of the so-called Middle East Quartet, which sponsors the peace process and comprises the US, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. The meeting had been called so the negotiators could explain what progress had been made over the past 12 months, and which obstacles still remained in the negotiations. Rice and Solana were scheduled to meet Sunday afternoon with the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The meeting is expected to discuss the latest developments in the Iranian nuclear programme and security in the Gulf. It was not immediately clear whether the other two members of the quartet would take part in the meeting, or French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who was also in Sharm el-Sheikh. Rice and the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan and the six Arab Gulf states - Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman - have held regular meetings over the past two years to discuss Gulf security. Earlier this year, Iraq joined the meetings. In press statements made in Sharm el-Sheikh on Saturday evening, Solana said that it was important to keep an eye on Iran's nuclear programme. Solana said that Tehran should not be sensitive about the meeting as it was not designed to oppose Iran and was only meant to review the situation.
"Serious progress" made in Israeli-Palestinian talks
9 November 2008 14:34 (UTC+04:00)