Archive for the ‘Annapolis’ Category

Bush meets with Israeli, Palestinian

November 27, 2007

By Jon Ward and David R. Sands
The Washington Times
November 27, 2007

President Bush met separately yesterday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in preparation for direct talks between the two leaders today in Annapolis and said that a deal would require “difficult compromises.”

The peace summit, named the Annapolis Conference, is being billed as a starting point for renewed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, with the goal being a permanent Palestinian state.

Mr. Bush told Mr. Olmert that he was “optimistic” about the conference, but took no questions before either Oval Office meeting early yesterday and offered no details about his conversations with either Mr. Olmert or Mr. Abbas.

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Arabs doubt prospects for peace parley

November 26, 2007

By DONNA ABU-NASR, Associated Press Writer

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland – Despite deep doubts back home about what they can accomplish, senior Arab officials from countries like Saudi Arabia and Syria agreed to sit down here with Israel to show their commitment to an Arab peace initiative, shore up the Palestinians and, in some cases, simply because they felt they could not say no.

Israel has said that Arab countries need to “get off the fence” and back Mideast peace negotiations, something Arabs heading into Tuesday’s Annapolis conference insist they have long been ready to do. The problem, they contend, is that Israel won’t commit to making concessions.

Among Arab governments and the public, the big fear is that Annapolis will only be a new piece of theater. They point to the Israelis’ and Palestinians’ failure to agree on terms for negotiations that will come out of Annapolis. They also cite the size of the gathering — more than 40 countries and organizations — saying it’s built more for style than substance.

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What the Saudis Want from Annapolis

November 26, 2007


Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal tells TIME that he is optimistic about this week’s Middle East peace conference in Annapolis because of what he calls U.S. determination “to see this through.” Continuous U.S. mediation in post-conference negotiations, including pressure on Israel, he says, “can turn things around” and lead to a comprehensive settlement before President Bush‘s term expires in 13 months.

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Bush and Olmert express hope for peace

November 26, 2007

By AMY TEIBEL and MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH, Associated Press Writers 22 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Hours before the opening of a high-stakes international conference on the Middle East, President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed hope Monday that peace finally could be achieved. A senior member of the Palestinian delegation said an elusive joint statement on the contours for future talks was within reach.

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D.C., Annapolis brace for summit security

November 26, 2007

By Arlo Wagner
Yhe Washington Times
November 26, 2007

D.C. police say they will use rolling street closures today to protect and help move diplomats attending the first day of the Middle East peace talks.

Metropolitan Police Department Officer Junis Fletcher said yesterday the agency will close streets only “as they are needed.” However, the Annapolis Police Department is closing several city streets tomorrow, when diplomats from across the world come to the U.S. Naval Academy for the second day of the expected two-day summit.

Three streets will be closed starting at 7 a.m. in downtown Annapolis, along the west side of the Academy, which could cause some commuter delays, especially for those with work at the state Capitol.

The summit also will affect people traveling by air and water.
The Federal Aviation Administration tomorrow is keeping commercial and private flights away 2 nautical miles horizontally and 4,000 feet vertically from the Academy. The restriction will be in place from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to the agency’s Web site.

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Syria accepts invitation to Annapolis conference

November 25, 2007

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis
Reuters – Sunday, November 25

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Syria on Sunday accepted a U.S. invitation to a peace conference in Annapolis and named Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal al-Mekdad as head of its delegation in a boost to the talks’ organisers.

The Damascus government made a late decision to attend after seeing a reference to the occupied Golan heights on the agenda.

“The government of the Syrian Arab Republic has accepted the American invitation,” the official news agency said, adding that Syria decided to go after receiving a copy of the agenda stating there would be a session on reviving Syrian-Israeli peace talks.

Another round of talks, focused on normalising ties in return for Israel returning the Golan Heights to Syria, collapsed in 2000.

Syria had said it would not attend unless the Golan Heights, which Israel occupied in 1967, were on the agenda.

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Peace Conference: Annapolis prepares to play host

November 23, 2007

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — The only sign Chance Walgren has seen that a Middle East peace summit is coming to this small waterfront city is that Maryland state flags lining Main Street were replaced this week with American flags.

When hundreds of foreign dignitaries and their entourages descend on Annapolis for talks at the U.S. Naval Academy, he’ll be ready at the Laurance Clothing store he manages downtown if they have a matter arguably as pressing as brokering international peace.

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