Abbas may address Rabin memorial symposium in Israel

Conditions his appearance on there being no Israeli-Palestinian firefights during that period.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has conditioned participation next month at a symposium marking a decade since Yitzhak Rabin's assassination on there being no Israeli-Palestinian firefights during that period. The conference is entitled "Peace Dream or Vision." The symposium, sponsored by the Strategic Dialogue Center at the Netanya College and the Yitzhak Rabin Center, is scheduled for November 15-16. The Netanya College issued a communique Sunday saying that both Abbas and PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei personally told MK Danny Yatom, the director of the Strategic Dialogue Center, that they would address the symposium. This would mark the first time Abbas would address an Israeli forum. According to the college, however, Abbas and Qurei made clear that they would only participate if there were "orderly relations" between Israel and the PA and there "not be any firefights" during that period with the Palestinians. In addition to Abbas and Qurei, among the other participants scheduled to address the conference are Abdel Salaam al-Majali, the prime minister of Jordan when the Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement was signed in 1994; Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief; Osama el-Baz, political advisor to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; James Wolfensohn, the Quartet's disengagement envoy; Abdurrahman Wahid, the former president of Indonesia; and Miguel Moratinos, Spain's foreign minister. According to the center, both the US and Britain have promised to send high-level representatives. The symposium is just one of a number of events that will be held to commemorate 10 years since Rabin's assassination. Dozens of world leaders, including Mubarak, have been invited to the central memorial events that are to be held on November 14, the Hebrew date of the assassination. Among the memorial events planned that day are a luncheon for world leaders at the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, a memorial service at Mt. Herzl, a special Knesset session, and the dedication of the new building housing the Rabin Peace Center in Tel Aviv. Former US President Bill Clinton, and his wife Hillary, have confirmed their participation in the events. Rabin's funeral 10 years ago was the only time Mubarak visited Israel, and he has said recently he may attend the upcoming commemorative events.