Olmert hints Jerusalem division is inevitable

( Reuters )- Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signaled on Tuesday Israel might have no choice but to share Jerusalem with the Palestinians in a peace deal, citing international pressure for compromise over the holy city.

"The world that is friendly to Israel ... that really supports Israel, when it speaks of the future, it speaks of Israel in terms of the '67 borders. It speaks of the division of Jerusalem," Olmert said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move that failed to win international recognition. It regards all of Jerusalem as its "eternal and indivisible" capital.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of the state they aspire to establish in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

The future of Jerusalem is one of the core issues Israel and the Palestinians agreed to tackle in peace talks they renewed after a U.S.-hosted summit in Annapolis, Maryland in November.

Olmert's comments appeared to be another move by the prime minister to prepare Israeli public opinion for the possibility of a deal that would loosen Israel's control of all of Jerusalem.

His deputy and close confidant, Haim Ramon, has said Israel should in future negotiate creation of a "special regime" that would govern some of the sacred sites in Jerusalem's walled Old City.

In separate remarks on Tuesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak made clear there would be no sweeping changes in Israel's network of hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints in the West Bank while negotiations went ahead.

Barak , addressing Israeli troops in the West Bank, said the barriers, condemned by Palestinians as collective punishment, helped to thwart attacks by militants.

"There is no chance of waging an effective fight against terror without a real and daily control of the field, and the checkpoints and roadblocks will remain," said Barak , a former prime minister who now leads the center-left Labour Party.

The United States, which hosted a Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland in November, has urged Israel to relax travel restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank.

"In order to ease matters when it comes to the daily lives of Palestinians, we are trying to permit the opening of roadblocks and checkpoints on the fringes," Barak said.

"As of now, dozens of earth roadblocks have been removed as well as two of the 16 major checkpoints, and we may make more concessions here and there," he said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas , voicing frustration at the slow pace of change, said in a speech on Monday: "Each time (there is a meeting with the Israelis) they say they will remove (checkpoints) or have already removed some of them -- but I can honestly say they did not remove a single checkpoint."

Israel and the Palestinians have said they hoped to reach a peace agreement before U.S. President George W. Bush, who visits Israel and the West Bank next week, leaves office next year.

Olmert has already questioned publicly the wisdom of annexing outlying Arab neighborhoods of the city after the 1967 conflict. But he has insisted Israel would never agree to return to its pre-1967 borders.

Russia agrees to work on creating oil and gas cluster in Uzbekistan
Russia agrees to work on creating oil and gas cluster in Uzbekistan
Kazakhstan, Russia's Tatarstan discuss potential projects related to Islamic halal products
Kazakhstan, Russia's Tatarstan discuss potential projects related to Islamic halal products
Kazakhstan, Russia discuss 'green corridor' for or moving agricultural goods
Kazakhstan, Russia discuss 'green corridor' for or moving agricultural goods
Loading Bars
Latest
Turkey reports 22,161 daily COVID-19 cases
5.5-magnitude quake hits 146 km SE of Chignik, Alaska
Information on allegedly shot down two UAVs of the Azerbaijani army - false - MoD
Syrian rebels attack army outposts in southern Syria
Reports of repeated incidents along Armenia-Azerbaijan border causes grave concern - OSCE Chairperson
Turkey sees growth in number of registered companies with Iranian capital
Portugal to ease COVID-19 restrictions in phases
Israel to offer 3rd coronavirus booster to elders: PM
Iran exports to Iraq up 54% in 3 months
Georgia ranks 10th in terms of COVID-19 cases per residents
Uzbekistan's Central Bank remains main rate unchanged
Turkmenistan introduces ban on sale of electronic cigarettes
COVID-19 cases climb amid calls for vaccinations in Turkey
Baku holds Week of Diplomacy closing ceremony organized by Foreign Ministry, ADA University (PHOTO)
Oklahoma governor views work within "smart village" project in Azerbaijan’s Zangilan (PHOTO)
OSCE MG co-chairs concerned with recent incidents along Armenia-Azerbaijan state border
Egyptian journalists write articles after visit to liberated lands of Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Central Bank of Azerbaijan to keep interest rate at same level - analyst
Over 190 people used services of social rehabilitation organizations in Azerbaijan since early 2021
Iran boosts exports to Iraq
Oklahoma governor, his family members walk throughout Azerbaijan’s Baku city (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani ministry to consider problems related to internet
Liabilities of Azerbaijan's Kapital Bank increases over 2Q2021
Kazakhstan implementing projects in free economic zone
Russia agrees to work on creating oil and gas cluster in Uzbekistan
Israel interested in establishing long-term co-op with Uzbek textile manufacturers
Baku Metro building powerful ventilation infrastructure
SOCAR to be engaged in building Switzerland’s largest green hydrogen plant
Azerbaijan's AzerGold discloses timing of iron ore production at Dashkasan deposit
Turkmenistan, Qatar interested in building up trade, economic ties
Data on 1H2021 cargo, passenger traffic at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport disclosed
Kazakhstan, Russia's Tatarstan discuss potential projects related to Islamic halal products
France calls UK quarantine rules discriminatory, excessive
Ministry in Uzbekistan opens tender for garages construction
Azerbaijan's Kapital Bank notes increase in assets within 2Q2021
Kazakhstan increases petroleum oil exports to Romania despite COVID-19
Kazakhstan, Russia discuss 'green corridor' for or moving agricultural goods
Moscow court fines Google over $40,000 for refusing to localize users’ data in Russia
Azerbaijan's Kapital Bank completes 2Q2021 with profit
Georgia reveals amount of food products import from Turkmenistan
Israel to offer Pfizer booster shots to people over 60
Uzbekistan launches construction of copper processing plant
Kazakhstan ready to expand non-commodity exports to Russia's Tatarstan
EBRD names date of approval of loan for waste management project in Azerbaijan's Ganja
Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan agree to further co-op on Dostlug field
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens for July 29
Azerbaijan confirms 615 more COVID-19 cases, 181 recoveries
Big Tech starts requiring vaccines; Twitter closes re-opened U.S. offices
Iraqi army helicopter crash kills five
Chandrayaan-3 likely to be launched during third quarter of 2022
Buta Airways to Increase the Number of Flights to Izmir
Riskified begins trading on NYSE today at $3.3b valuation
Oklahoma State National Guard delegation continues to visit Azerbaijan (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Kazakh oil refinery opens tender to buy UPS
European Investment Bank signs advisory agreement with Hydrogen Europe
Azerbaijan's AzerGold reveals potentially usable, economically efficient ores at Dashkasan deposit
Iran launches new railway lines in four provinces
Turkey discloses number of military vehicles transported through its ports since early 2021
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan agree more than 40 km of state border
Uzbeki ERIELL Group eyes resuming drilling at Garraf oil field in Iraq
Largest tunnel in Iran’s Tehran-Shomal Freeway put into operation
Azerbaijan opens new military unit in liberated Khojaly (PHOTO/VIDEO)
EU signs deal with GSK for supply of potential COVID drug
Turkey discloses traffic stats for 6M2021 at new Istanbul airport
Russia records 23,270 new daily COVID-19 cases
Azerbaijan, S.Korea reached some agreements on reconstruction projects - ambassador
Georgia names volume of exports of various liquid foods to Turkmenistan
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calls on Modi
Canada sees increase in inorganic chemicals imports from Uzbekistan (Exclusive)
Biden administration determined to continue stronger India-US ties: Blinken
Ministry discloses volume of metallurgical products transported through Turkish ports
Russia makes efforts to restore ceasefire regime on Armenian-Azerbaijani border - official
Armenians left not one intact building in liberated Aghdam - official
How many vehicles Turkish ports handled in 1H2021?
Death toll from COVID-19 in Iran exceeds 90,000 people
Iran's Rasht-Caspian railway project progressing
Hilton posts quarterly profit on recovery in leisure travel demand
Ministry discloses volume of oil products transported through Turkish ports
Turkey unveils 1H2021 data on shipment of agricultural products via local ports
Length of Iran's railway lines to increase – minister
Chinese companies may finance Iran's Shiraz-Bushehr railway project
International Bank of Azerbaijan completes 2Q2021 with net profit
Iran to host foreign reps for president-elect Raisi' inauguration
Turkmenistan exports its coffee to Russia
Iran Air to increase amount of flights to France
Ukrainian energy ministry updates on progress in Euro-Asian oil transport corridor project
Turkic World media platform now available in two more languages (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan reveals 1H2021 data on exports of fruit, vegetables
Georgia reveals COVID-19 data for July 29
Azerbaijan’s representative offices in Israel - important platforms for expanding business contacts, minister says
Foreign currency demand of Azerbaijani banks declines
Azerbaijani historical, architectural monuments destroyed during Armenian occupation - Academy of Sciences
Weapons, ammunition found in Azerbaijan’s Khojaly district
New prospects for economic cooperation opened between S.Korea, Azerbaijan - ambassador
Meet Alumni of British School in Baku
Database and co-op expanding to intensify work of Azerbaijani-Israeli commission - minister (PHOTO)
Baku court announces verdict to members of Armenian sabotage group
Turkmen Energy Ministry extends tender for power plant construction
Iran launches its Yazd-Eqlid railway line
Another working visit organized to Azerbaijan's liberated Aghdam (PHOTO)
All news