Arab representatives shun Livni

FM fails attempts to meet Arab world representatives; meets only with Jordanian couterpart during parley.

abbas livni UN 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
abbas livni UN 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni failed in attempts to set up meetings in Annapolis or Washington with colleagues from the Arab world, even though the summit was designed to show international support for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Livni, who was interested in meeting some of the 15 representatives from the Arab and Muslim world at the conference who do not have ties with Israel, only held a meeting in Washington with Salaheddin al-Bashir, the Jordanian foreign minister whose country does have full diplomatic ties with Israel. That meeting took place Wednesday in Washington. The Jerusalem Post has learned that there was also some pre-summit talk of Livni flying to one of the North African countries - Morocco or Tunisia - on her way home from Washington, but that this also failed to materialize. Israeli officials interpreted this as evidence that the Arab world had not changed its fundamental policy that there would be no warming of relations with Israel until after a deal, and that normalization was one of the Arab world's major bargaining chips. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, likewise, did not hold any public meetings with any of the Arab representatives, and sufficed with pleasantries and handshakes with a few of them - the representatives from Qatar, Bahrain, Morocco and Pakistan - after delivering his speech Tuesday in Annapolis. The Arab states present at the conference included Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The Muslim states who participated were Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.