El-Baz: Israel will be in comprehensive isolation if it rejects US initiative
Egypt-Palestine-USA, Politics, 4/8/1998
Osama El-Baz, the Egyptian president's political advisor, stated that the US initiative for reviving the peace process between Palestine and Israel will be crystallized in its final form during the coming days, after previously being raised between the two sides in the form of general principals.
El-Baz said on Monday in a lecture at the headquarters of the Egyptian National Democratic Party that the Palestinian response at this initiative was more positive than negative, while the response of the Israelis was more negative than positive, although this is not a final response.
Then El-Baz expressed his hope that the US would use its influence and powers on Israel during the coming period to accept its initiative. Otherwise the US will be retreating in front of Israeli pressure, he said, because if it does not continue in its role as a main sponsor of the peace process, it will not mantain its reputation and influence in the region.
El-Baz said that should the US bow out in the case of Israel refusing the US initiative, a European initiative has already been put forth.
If Israel refuses the proposal, all the Israeli people will live in total isolation, finding their state pitted against the whole world after the international community agrees upon one view which that is Israel is the only obstinate party, he said.
El-Baz stated that the peace process will last either until the US initiatives succeed or stumble, especially since, "We have many other alternatives to affect on Israel," such as returning once more to the Barcelona conference.
He expressed his hope that Israel will withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. He also said the map presented by Israeli Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon, in which he asked for Israel to keep about 64% of the Palestinian territories, is nonsense.
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