Only a couple of months ago,
Sharon insisted on making a number of changes in the "Road Map".
The Bush Administration acquiesced and in turn persuaded the "Quartet"
to adopt them and they became part and parcel of the Road Map.
More recently, we read that Sharon was not satisfied with the Road Map
and wanted to make some (more) changes. Read this article to find
out why Sharon actually has plenty to make him happy, without any
Source: Ha`aretz Newspaper | Monday, April 14, 2003 8:56 AM
Israel to U.S.: Now deal with Syria and Iran
By Aluf Benn
Two of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior aides will go to Washington
for separate talks this week. National Security Advisor Efraim Halevy
will discuss the regional implications of the Iraq war and the fall of
the Ba'ath regime, and the prime minister's bureau chief Dov Weisglass
will bring the White House Israel's comments on the "road map" plan for
a peace settlement.
Israel will suggest that the United States also take care of Iran and Syria because of their support for terror and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Israel will point out the support of Syria and Iran for Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers an important target in the war against international terrorism.
American officials recently said in closed conversations that the U.S. will act against Syria and Iran, but not by military means. The American administration is very angry with Syria for its support of Iraq during the war and its willingness to take in defectors from Saddam Hussein's regime.
As for Iran, the administration suggests working with the UN and Atomic Energy Commission to halt the Iranian nuclear program. Weisglass is scheduled to meet National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and present Israel's reservations on the road map. Senior government sources said Weisglass's goal is "to make sure things that disturb us won't happen."
The administration has made it clear in advance that it is not ready to reopen the road map for discussion and will present it to both sides as is, after the new Palestinian government headed by Abu Mazen is sworn in . Israeli sources assume Weisglass will try to reach "agreed principles to implement the plan" with the Americans that will take Israel's "red lines" into consideration.
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom spoke with his U.S. counterpart Colin Powell on Friday to prepare for the talks. Shalom said Israeli comments on the road map were meant "to facilitate its implementation," and explain the political pressures on Sharon's government. He said "our comments will help get the road map approved by the cabinet."
The security establishment is examining possible gestures of good will for Abu Mazen, including the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and vacating territories in the north of the Gaza Strip.