Hadley lays groundwork for Bush visit

US nat'l security adviser stops over in J'lem to discuss negotiations with PA, sanctions against Iran.

Hadley 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Hadley 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley has begun preparations for next month's visit by US President George W. Bush's with a 24-hour stopover in Jerusalem to discuss the negotiations with the Palestinians and the sanctions against Iran. Diplomatic officials said there was a widespread expectation that Israel and the Palestinian Authority would sign some kind of document of principles in Bush's presence next month, to give the sense that there was real movement in the diplomatic process that the US president ushered in at the Annapolis conference last November. Hadley met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert soon after his arrival on Tuesday, and with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Wednesday. Hadley and Livni discussed the diplomatic process with an emphasis on Israel's security arrangements in any future agreement, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry. The US special envoy for Middle East security, Gen. James Jones, is working on a document charting the security requirements of the various players in the region that is scheduled to be presented in June. This document is widely viewed in Jerusalem as "very significant," because it will lay out the "bottom line" - in the US view - of Israel's real security needs and requirements under a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The two also discussed the necessity of "continued international action" to increase sanctions on Iran. Livni, according to her office, briefed Hadley on her trip earlier this week to Qatar and her meetings there with both Qatari and Omani leaders. Diplomatic officials said the US had been urging the Persian Gulf countries since the Annapolis conference to make public gestures toward Israel and in support of the ongoing diplomatic negotiations with the PA, adding that Livni's invitation to Qatar and her public meeting with the Omani foreign minister should be seen in that context. Livni also raised with Hadley a report that the PA planned to award medals to five female Palestinian terrorists serving sentences in Israel. Livni, according to her office, pointed out to Hadley "the grave and problematical issues arising from this, and the message it transmits, regarding the Palestinian Authority's obligation to prevent terror within PA-controlled areas."