Report: Obama awaiting PM's reply on new plan

'Asharq Al-Awsat': President gave Netanyahu six weeks to provide answer to two-year peace initiative.

obama netanyahu hmmm 248 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
obama netanyahu hmmm 248 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The US has formulated a two-year plan for cementing a two-state agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and is now waiting for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to convey Israel's reply to the plan, the London-based pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported Tuesday. According to the report, the new plan was presented to Netanyahu during his visit to Washington in May. The prime minister was reportedly given six weeks to provide his response to the initiative, starting from Obama's address Cairo address last week. The plan was also presented to Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit during their visit to the US, the report said. According to the report, the Egyptian leadership is taking the initiative seriously, but is assessing that Palestinian divisiveness could impede its implementation. The Egyptian leadership has therefore decided to make Palestinian reconciliation a top priority, the report said, and has tasked Suleiman with expediting the unity talks. The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the report. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was also reportedly informed of the plan and has sent a delegation to Egypt, headed by negotiator Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala). Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was also summoned to Cairo ahead of the reconciliation talks, the report said. A senior Egyptian official was quoted as saying that Suleiman would meet Mahsaal and the rest of the Hamas delegation in Cairo. "Suleiman asked the Hamas delegation to come to Cairo as part of the efforts that Egypt is pursuing in order to bring an end to inter-Palestinian division, with the goal being to ready the way for the diplomatic process," the Egyptian official was quoted as saying. "Egypt will keep up its consultations and contacts with the Palestinian organizations and faction in the near future in a manner that will facilitate the signing of a final agreement that will bring inter-Palestinian reconciliation on July 7." Obama's plan has also reportedly prompted the forum of Arab prime ministers to set an urgent meeting for June 17, in which the Arab world will debate Egypt's efforts to reconcile the disparate forces among the Palestinians.