Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Peres is President, Not Prime Minister

From Condoleeza Rice's press conference today:-

QUESTION: Going back to Annapolis, can you --
QUESTION: -- talk about your meetings with the Israeli Prime Minister this week and give us a sense of where the process stands at this point?
SECRETARY RICE: Yes. Well, again, as – there is still a lot that – even in complicated political times that can be done. The Prime Minister continues his discussions with Abu Mazen and the negotiators continue their discussions. And I think they’re continuing to work to narrow differences. They are continuing to have pretty intensive discussions on all of the issues.
They – you may have noticed the release of prisoners that the Prime Minister recently did in terms of the Palestinians. And the work on the ground in terms of the security forces is moving forward, and I think moving forward in a very positive way. So everybody continues to work to deliver on the goals of Annapolis. The political situation, in general, makes it difficult perhaps to finish an agreement, but there is certainly a lot of work that can be done and we’ll see where they are over the next couple of months.
QUESTION: Can I just follow up a bit?
QUESTION: Shimon Peres has been saying publicly that he supports the spirit of this resurrected Saudi peace plan from 2002. Are you getting any sense --
QUESTION: -- that the Israeli Government are at all seriously considering that plan?
SECRETARY RICE: We’re talking about that, because the Arab Peace Initiative – previously the Crown Prince Initiative – does offer a kind of broader framework in which one could understand what needs to be achieved in order to have broad peace in the Middle East, not just the conclusion of a Palestinian-Israeli plan. And I’m very pleased that a lot of good discussions are going on about precisely that, and yes, we are talking about how it might be used.
QUESTION: So you’re supportive of it as it stands?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think we’ve been supportive all along. As you remember, the Arab Peace Initiative is one of the elements mentioned in the Annapolis declaration.

Condi, Shimon is not in government and there will be a High Court petition if he doesn't stay out of ongoing politics.

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