Gulf Crisis Will Not Deter Levy from Discussing Peace with Baker

Foreign Minister David Levy says he is going to Washington this week with “specific proposals” to advance the Middle East peace process.

Levy is to meet with U.S. Secretary of State James Baker on Wednesday, a day earlier than originally planned, so that Baker can leave on a diplomatic mission to Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.

Speaking to reporters on the eve of his departure to the United States, where he also will meet with American Jewish groups, Levy said the Persian Gulf crisis should not hinder the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians.

But he said the crisis would likely after the entire situation in the region and thereby have an impact on the peace process.

The Israeli foreign minister, who took office shortly after the formation of the Likud-led government in June, said he had not forgotten the questions posed by Baker before the diplomatic process was interrupted by the collapse of the Labor-Likud unity government.

Stressing Israel’s readiness to “coordinate and cooperate,” he said, “Israel will not rest idle until she reaches the goal of peace.”

Wednesday’s meeting will be Levy’s third attempt to get together with his American counterpart. The original meeting will be Levy’s third attempt to get together with his American counterpart. The original meeting date was pushed back after Levy suffered a heart attack and was unable to travel. It was rescheduled for early August, but later postponed again following Iraq’s surprise invasion of Kuwait on Aug. 2.

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