Ehud Olmert reiterated interest in the Saudi initiative for Israeli-Arab peace. The Israeli prime minister said in advance of a peace summit with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday that the Saudi proposal, first broached in 2002, could be the key to a wider regional deal.”We said more than once that the Saudi inititaive is a subject we would be willing to treat seriously. We have not changed our stance,” Olmert told his Cabinet in broadcast remarks.The initiative, which was endorsed by the Arab League, offers Israel comprehensive recognition in exchange for its relinquishing of land captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. But Israel has previously rejected the plan as not clearly meeting Jerusalem’s demand that Palestinian refugees be resettled in a future Palestinian state rather than in Israeli territory.Olmert voiced hope that at an upcoming Arab League session, “the positive elements expressed in the Saudi initiatitve will be reaffirmed” a reference, political pundits said, to a clause hinting that Israel would have a veto on the refugee issue.
Olmert upbeat on Saudi initiative