Olmert open to Israeli-Arab summit

Israel proposed direct talks with moderate Arab regimes. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert proposed Sunday that Saudi Arabia should follow up on last week’s Arab League summit in Riyadh by hosting a round of direct negotiations between Israel and moderate Arab regimes.”If the Saudi king convenes a meeting of the heads of the moderate states, I would be happy to come and voice our thoughts,” Olmert told reporters.In response, a Saudi official said Monday that Israel should withdraw from Arab territory and allow the creation of a Palestinian state before Arabs recognize it.At the Riyadh summit, the Arab League re-endorsed a Saudi proposal for a comprehensive Israeli-Arab peace. Jerusalem has welcomed the initiative as a potential basis for rapprochement but described some of its clauses as problematic.

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