Arab states revising Saudi plan


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Arabs states are revising the Saudi peace initiative to make it more palatable to Israel, according to an Arabic-language newspaper.

The London-based al-Quds al-Arabi reported Wednesday that the moderate Arab nations are making the amendments at the request of President Obama and that some of the changes involve the demand for the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

The changes also will set a timetable for normalizing relations between Israel and the Arab countries in the region, if Israel withdraws to pre-1967 borders.

The amended plan, being coordinated by Jordan’s King Abdullah, will be presented to Obama when he meets with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Washington in a few weeks, according to the Israeli daily Ha’aretz.

The amendments will require convening an Arab summit for approval, Ynet reported.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair, envoy of the Quartet, the diplomatic grouping guiding the Middle East process, told Palestinian reporters Tuesday evening that a new strategy for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks being devised by the Obama administration with input from other Quartet members will be presented in five to six weeks, The Associated Press reported. 

"The key thing for the next few weeks is to get an agreed strategy, and then the key thing for the next few months is to implement it in a way that is credible for people," Blair said.

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