Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

News Brief


Russia said it will host the next international conference on Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that after the Bush administration hosted this week’s conference between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Annapolis, Md., Moscow would handle the follow-up meeting.

The Russian news agency Interfax quoted Lavrov as saying that all participants at Annapolis “hailed our readiness to organize the next meeting in Moscow. Of course, we have yet to agree on its date and agenda.”

Lavrov said that Russia would try to promote Palestinian statehood and broker peace talks between Israel and its northern neighbors.

“This is crucial not only for the solution of all key problems in Palestinian-Israeli relations — I mean the border issue, refugees and the status of Jerusalem — but also for approaching other spheres of the Middle East settlement, the Arab-Israeli conflict. I mean the Syrian and Lebanese areas,” Lavrov said.

Rabbi Marc Schneier spoke to Ehud Olmert about bringing religious leaders into the peace process.

Schneier, the founder of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding who initiated a Muslim-Jewish dialogue among American clerics, met privately Tuesday with the Israeli prime minister, who is in the United States to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Schneier described a recent summit his group organized of rabbis and imams across the United States. He said Olmert described the idea of expanding such a dialogue to include the peace process as “positive.”

In receiving an award Sunday for convening the summit of rabbis and imams, Schneier also made the point about religious leaders being involved in the quest for Middle East peace, given the dominant role that religion plays there. “Without the participation of imams and rabbis, any of the discussions at Annapolis — all the plans, pronouncements, prescriptions and exertions — will be in vain,” Schneier said.

Schneier and the foundation received the award from the Islamic Center of Long Island, N.Y.

Recommended from JTA