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U.S. mulls releasing peace plan in top-level speech

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  • Josh Pollack
    June 4, 2002 U.S. mulls releasing peace plan in top-level speech Tenet arrives, meets Israeli officials By Aluf Benn and Amos Harel
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2002
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      June 4, 2002
      U.S. mulls releasing peace plan in top-level speech
      Tenet arrives, meets Israeli officials
      By Aluf Benn and Amos Harel


      The American administration is considering presenting its new Middle East
      policy in a speech by a senior official, probably either President George
      Bush or Secretary of State Colin Powell. This policy will be formulated
      following Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's visit to the United States this

      The European Union has urged that Bush deliver the speech himself, but a
      report from Israel's embassy in Washington cited Powell as the designated

      Israeli government sources predicted that the administration would not
      present a detailed final-status plan, but would merely reiterate its known
      positions regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state, with at most
      minor changes.

      Meanwhile, CIA chief George Tenet arrived in the region yesterday to discuss
      the reorganization of the Palestinian security services. He met yesterday
      with Israeli officials, and will meet today with Palestinian Authority
      Chairman Yasser Arafat in Ramallah.

      Sources in both the government and the defense establishment said that
      Tenet's meetings in Israel were aimed solely at hearing Israel's positions
      and situation assessments. He did not present any new security ideas of his

      Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met with Tenet together with IDF Deputy Chief of
      Staff Moshe Ya'alon, Shin Bet head Avi Dichter and Mossad chief Ephraim
      Halevy, while Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer met the American guest
      separately. Dichter told Tenet that Arafat has given Palestinian
      organizations no clear instructions to cease terror attacks against Israel,
      and Ben-Eliezer stressed that for Israel, a cessation of terror was far more
      important than "whether there are four or six Palestinian security

      Ben-Eliezer said Israel has two main demands from the Palestinians: the
      immediate disarmament of all Palestinian terror organizations, under
      American supervision, and a reorganization of the PA such that Arafat will
      no longer control either its finances or its security forces. American
      supervision of the disarmament process is crucial, he said, since otherwise,
      there is no chance that it will actually occur.

      He said it was also important for the U.S., the EU, Russia and the Arab
      states to apply joint pressure on Arafat to stop the terror.

      Defense sources said yesterday that they were skeptical that Tenet's visit
      will produce any results, and particularly with respect to unifying the
      Palestinian security services.

      But Palestinian officials insisted yesterday that Arafat will propose a
      reduction in the number of PA security services from about a dozen to four,
      in line with U.S. expectations. He also plans to end the practice of having
      separate security chiefs for the West Bank and Gaza, the officials said,
      speaking on condition of anonymity.

      But Arafat himself will remain commander in chief, head of a national
      security council and interior minister, the officials said.

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