Sunday, July 5, 2009

US sounds out Arabs on Israel gestures - diplomats

Reuters, By Adam Entous and Alastair Macdonald (3/7/2009) * U.S., allies ask Arabs to consider response to Israel * Israeli settlement offer may fall short of Arab demands JERUSALEM, July 3 (Reuters) - The United States and its Western allies are sounding out Arab governments to see if they might ease sanctions on Israel if it stopped building Jewish settlements on Palestinian territory, diplomats said on Friday. As Washington presses Israel's new government on settlements in order to unblock peace talks with the Palestinians, Israeli officials are looking for benefits to show their own voters, and easing Israel's isolation within the region could fit that bill. But Arab leaders have so far been cool, Western diplomats said, to suggestions they might open their airspace to Israeli airliners, allow roaming calls by Israeli cellphones or let in tourists whose passports show they have also visited Israel."The Arabs are being very cautious," one diplomat said... Click here for full story

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