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Sheetrit pessimistic about peace talks

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Israel’s interior minister said he was not optimistic about an upcoming Middle East peace conference.

Meer Sheetrit told JTA Wednesday that Israel should negotiate with the Arab League over the details of a future peace settlement in order to “circumvent the problem of the Palestinians.” Should the league compromise on a contentious issue like refugees, Sheetrit said, the Palestinians would have no choice but to go along.

Regarding the peace conference expected in Washington in November, Sheetrit said it was unlikely the parties would come to an agreement.

“It’s a nice idea,” Sheetrit said. “I don’t see it to achieve results. I hope I’m mistaken.”

Sheetrit was in New York to attend a conference on urban revitalization. He said he plans to pilot a project in three Israeli cities aimed at reinvigorating downtown areas.

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