Monday, November 26, 2007

Expectations low for upcoming summit in Maryland

Political division within Palestine and Iranian-Saudi jockeying for position and influence in the Middle East are the backdrops for the lifeless "Peace Summit" in Annapolis, Maryland that is about to take place between the Arabs and Israelis.

A meeting without clear objectives that has the agenda of bringing people together to agree to possibly meet in the future is a waste of time.

There can be no peace in the region as long as the occupied lands are not returned to the Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian peoples. Freedom of access to Jerusalem and the right of religious groups to be custodians of their own holy sites without outside interference must be addressed. The right of return and/or payment of reparations for confiscated land is another issue that must be addressed head on.

Likewise, Israel will never accept to have armed militias on its borders that operate outside of the authority of the central governments of those nations. Surely, Israel wants the Lebanese Army and the Palestinian Security Forces to be the sole militaries in their lands, not Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad with the capability to fire rockets anywhere within Israel proper.

SEE article below how the summit is being discussed in Iran.

Iran's supreme leader calls upcoming Mideast peace conference a failure

The Associated Press

Published: November 26, 2007

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the upcoming Mideast peace conference in the U.S. a failure on Monday, claiming it was meant to salvage America's reputation in the region rather than realize the rights of Palestinians, state television reported.

"Today, all politicians in advance know that this conference has already failed," Khamenei said in a speech broadcast by state TV. "The U.S. and its accomplices hope to preserve their reputation by this conference and compensate past failures of the fake Zionist (Israeli) regime." *He's implying that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan are the accomplices*

Khamenei's comments came on the heels of a telephone call late Sunday between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah in which the Iranian president expressed disappointment at Saudi's participation in the conference, which is scheduled for Tuesday in Annapolis, Maryland.

"I wish the name of Saudi Arabia was not among the participants at the Annapolis conference," the official news agency IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

The Iranian president said the U.S. could not be a legitimate host for the conference because "it is an accomplice to Zionist (Israeli) crimes." He urged Arab countries to be watchful of Israeli plots and deception, IRNA reported.

Also Sunday, Ahmadinejad said in a public speech that the peace conference would help Israel and "has no benefit for the oppressed Palestinian nation."

He questioned the intelligence of the representatives attending the meeting, accusing them of making concessions to Israel — an apparent reference to Arab neighbors like Saudi Arabia and Syria who are sending senior officials to the conference.(MORE)

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