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Israel’s foreign minister played down the viability of a Saudi-sponsored peace proposal. In an interview published Thursday, Tzipi Livni said she had been hopeful about the proposal for a comprehensive Israeli-Arab peace that was broached by Saudi Arabia in 2002, at the height of a Palestinian terrorist campaign. But she added that changes to the formula by the Arab League had cooled Israel’s interest.

“At first the Saudi initiative was a positive sign, but when the radicals in Beirut added things that contravene the two-state solution, then for us it became unacceptable in its current formula,” Livni told the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam. She appeared to be referring to the Arab League’s insistence that Israel agree to a “right of return” for Palestinian refugees to land now in Israel.

Asked about the recent Palestinian Authority power-sharing deal between the governing Hamas terrorist group and more moderate Fatah faction, Livni echoed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s wait-and-see attitude.

“We expect that any Palestinian government adhere to the three requirements of the international community,” she said, referring to Western demands that the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel, accept past peace deals and renounce terrorism. “We will examine the government and its platform, whether it fully adheres to the requirements.”

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