Israel’s Ehud Olmert meets president Jacques Chirac in Paris Wednesday after his realignment plan was turned down by UK PM Tony Blair in London
It was clear from their separate statements that the British prime minister did not buy the Olmert position on Iran (“Israel will not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran!”) or his realignment program for the West Bank – even though he offered 90% of the West Bank for a Palestinian state.
While accepting that the status quo cannot go on without a solution, Blair insisted that that the way to peace must go forward by agreement and negotiations for a final-status settlement. He promised every effort to give impetus to this course, but agreed that if he were Israeli prime minister, he would stipulate that the Palestinian negotiating partner recognize Israel and a two-state solution and renounce violence and accept the road map.
Olmert committed to seek negotiations and call on Blair for advice, but if circumstances beyond Israel’s control prevented this, Israel will go it alone.