Geneva unveils update to Mideast peace blueprint

16th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

The authors of the Geneva Initiative unveiled an update to their unofficial Middle East blueprint.

Tel Aviv – The authors of the Geneva Initiative on Tuesday unveiled an update to their unofficial Middle East blueprint, outlining in detail the security arrangements of a future Palestinian state.

"It is a recipe book for peacemakers," said Gadi Baldiansky, director general of the Geneva Initiative, which released its first plan in 2003.

"These are solutions we hope will help the decision-makers and the negotiators in negotiations we hope will be resumed in a couple of weeks," he said at a news conference.

The document has already drawn praise from experts and politicians, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to Yossi Beilin, a prominent leader of the initiative and one of the architects of the 1993 Oslo accords between Israel and the Palestinians.

The 2003 Geneva Initiative was drawn up by leading Israeli and Palestinian politicians and intellectuals in secret talks and contained proposals for resolving the decades-long Middle East conflict including the creation of a Palestinian state and sharing sovereignty over Jerusalem.

The 400-page updated released on Tuesday contains minute proposals for security arrangements for a future demilitarised Palestinian state, the management of border crossing points, boundaries of Jerusalem and other core issues.

It calls for the construction of corridor between the West Bank and Gaza wide enough for rail and road, and includes such details as placing tracking devices in Israeli cars crossing Palestinian territory.

The group is still working out details of a proposed agreement on the issue of Palestinian refugees.

The release of the document comes amid a push by the United States to get Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks that were suspended in late December as part of its drive toward a comprehensive Middle East peace deal.

AFP / Expatica

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