Livni pushing 'incentives' policy

Foreign minister raises new idea: Talks now, implementation later.

livni rice 298.88 (photo credit: Associated Press [file])
livni rice 298.88
(photo credit: Associated Press [file])
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is expected to discuss with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her upcoming visit to the region the possibility of negotiating with the Palestinians now over provisional borders of a Palestinian state, but delaying implementation of that plan until the Palestinians dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, it was reported on Thursday night. In recent days Livni has discussed these ideas informally in a non-binding manner with prominent Palestinians such as former finance minister Salam Fayad and former information minister Yasser Abd-Rabbo, as well as with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Livni's Office denied to comment on details of the plan, while sources in the Prime Minister's Office were quoted throughout the day as denying that Livni had drawn up a plan or presented a plan to the prime minister. Livni, in an interview with Haaretz published Thursday, said that she saw herself as suitable candidate for prime minister, a comment likely to add tension to her relationship with Olmert. Livni did not say, however, that she planed to run against Olmert in the future. Rice is expected in Israel in early January. The Jerusalem Post has learned that Livni's meetings with Fayad were not her first, but that she holds regular meeting with prominent Palestinians in a "non-binding" fashion. No final status issues with the Palestinians were discussed in these informal talks, The Post has learned, and contrary to some press reports, the issue of Jerusalem was not raised. Livni, however, was said to have "very concrete ideas of how to re-ignite the diplomatic process with the Palestinians." These ideas were based on the notion that the best way out of the current stagnation was to provide the Palestinians with a series of incentives - such as this week's decision to release frozen tax revenue to the Palestinians and release Palestinian prisoners - and also to clarify through negotiations the political horizon that would await the Palestinians were they to take real action to uproot the terrorist infrastructure. The logic behind this is to make it clear to the Palestinians what price tag they are paying for continuing to support Hamas and its policies, and provide an incentive for them to support the moderates in the Palestinian camp.