Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Haniyya backs away from salary promise

The Daily Star - Politics - Haniyya backs away from salary promise: "The change in tone came as the Bush administration stepped up pressure on banks not to transfer funds to the new government. Western diplomats said the U.S. was now trying to block Arab and European proposals to pay salaries directly into workers' accounts.

Reports also surfaced Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister-designate Ehud Olmert could hold his first talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after a summit in Washington this month.

Former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who will be deputy premier in the next Cabinet, told the Jerusalem Post newspaper that the incoming government still believed a negotiated peace settlement was possible."
"In his final report to Middle East mediators, international envoy James Wolfensohn questioned the decision of Western powers to cut all but humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

"The report, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters Tuesday, said the UN and NGOs will not be able to fill the void if PA institutions collapse.

"It would surprise me if one could win by getting all the kids out of school or starving the Palestinians. And I don't think anyone in the 'Quartet' believes that to be the policy," Wolfensohn told a news conference in Washington."

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