JERUSALEM, (AP) – Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday that Israel was ready to discuss a sweeping Arab plan for Mideast peace, but wouldn’t accept ultimatums.
“I take the offer of full normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world seriously; and I am ready to discuss the Arab peace initiative in an open and sincere manner,” Olmert said in an op-ed piece published in the British newspaper The Guardian on the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Mideast war.
“But the talks must be a discussion, not an ultimatum,” he added.
The Arab peace deal, first proposed in 2002, and recently revived, offers Israel full recognition in exchange for a withdrawal from all territories it occupied in the war and a “just solution” for Palestinian refugees. Israel has not rejected the idea, but has expressed reservations about a complete withdrawal and resettling Palestinian refugees in Israel.