Israel bracing for US push to 'codify' status of PA talksJust about everyone would benefit from this, including Olmert--except of course Israel herself:
The US is interested in having Israel and the Palestinians codify the progress in their talks up to now so there will be a lasting document to serve as the basis for further negotiations following the changeover of governments in Washington and - possibly - in Jerusalem, Israeli diplomatic officials told The Jerusalem Post this week.
According to the officials, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will convene a trilateral meeting in Washington on July 30 or 31 with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and the Palestinian Authority's chief negotiator, Ahmed Qurei.
I don't know about you, but wouldn't you love to see just what it is that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority has actually obligated itself to during all these talks?
The officials said it was becoming increasingly evident to those involved in the talks that it appeared unlikely a comprehensive agreement would be reached by the target date set by Bush - partly because of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's political problems - and that the Americans were still interested in something tangible coming out of the talks, if only a document charting the issues that were agreed upon.
The officials said this was important for the Bush administration so it would leave something for the next administration to begin working with, and also because it would obligate both the Israelis and the Palestinians down the road.
Unfortunately, it is a testament to the state of the Olmert government that whether they are in favor or against the proposed government, their reasoning focuses on themselves and there political future as opposed to what the consequences would be for Israel:
What Israel really needs to codify is a constitution.
According to these officials, while Olmert was interested in this document, Livni was less enthused. Olmert's interest, the officials said, stemmed from a desire to leave behind something positive if he were forced from office in the near future.
On the other hand, the officials said, Livni did not want - just a few months before Kadima's primary - to sign a document calling for Israeli withdrawal from large swaths of the West Bank. The officials said this would be seized upon by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, and would cost her votes on Kadima's right flank.
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