Israel must do more for peace process, urges envoy Israel and the Middle East Guardian Unlimited
August 24, 2007
Mahmoud Abbas needs new assurances from Israel, according to Michael Williams.
That's one of the problems only Israel can provide assurances to the Arabs. The Arabs can not provide assurances to Israel (other than continuing the armed struggle with guns/ammo/training provided by the US and Israel.)
The man appointed by Gordon Brown to be the UK's Middle East envoy has warned that Israel must do more to improve the lives of the Palestinian people, or else attempts to revive the peace process could fail.
How about the Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza doing for themselves? Hundeds of millions of dollars are given to them and their leaders take a cut and put it in their Swiss bank accounts, buy guns and ammo to kill Jews and forget about their own people living in poverty and squalid conditions. Could you imagine if they actually used the money that the EU and the US sent them to help their own people live and provide better lives for themslves...
Michael Williams, who is currently the UN secretary general's special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, spoke out ahead of taking up his new role next month.
A conference aimed at getting the peace process back on track is scheduled to take place in the US in November.
But Mr Williams suggested that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, would have to be given assurances of positive Israeli intentions before he would attend.
"For President Abbas to go to the States for this meeting, he will need some clear demonstrations of Israeli support for a continuing peace process," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
Mr Williams, who recently met with the Palestinian administration, said more could have been done "to sustain the momentum behind President Abbas".
"There have been some moves - the release of 200 prisoners, the tax revenues once more flowing to the Palestinian authority - but this is nowhere near enough," said Mr Williams.
"On key issues like the outposts, let alone the settlements in the West Bank, and on the hundreds of checkpoints we've not seen significant or even any real moves by the Israelis so far."
Mr Williams also said the UK government would continue relations with the Iranian and Syrian administrations, despite the US president George Bush's policy of limited communication with them amid allegations they have been interfering in the Iraq conflict.
"I think it's the view of the prime minister and the foreign secretary that the US has to engage with countries like Iran and Syria," he said.
He stressed the importance of resolving the "problems" and "threats" in the Middle East and said it was imperative that the British government had an "active foreign policy" in the region.
He said: "No region poses such a substantial threat to international peace and security greater than the Middle East, there's no doubt about that