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    Israel Must do More for Peace Process, Urges Envoy
    Globalism; Posted on: 2007-08-25 00:24:37 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Mahmoud Abbas needs new assurances from Israel, according to Michael Williams

    Haroon Siddique
    Guardian Unlimited

    The man appointed by Gordon Brown to be the UK's Middle East envoy has warned that Israel must do more to improve the lives of the Palestinian people, or else attempts to revive the peace process could fail.

    Michael Williams, who is currently the UN secretary general's special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, spoke out ahead of taking up his new role next month.

    A conference aimed at getting the peace process back on track is scheduled to take place in the US in November.

    But Mr Williams suggested that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, would have to be given assurances of positive Israeli intentions before he would attend.
    "For President Abbas to go to the States for this meeting, he will need some clear demonstrations of Israeli support for a continuing peace process," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

    Mr Williams, who recently met with the Palestinian administration, said more could have been done "to sustain the momentum behind President Abbas".

    "There have been some moves - the release of 200 prisoners, the tax revenues once more flowing to the Palestinian authority - but this is nowhere near enough," said Mr Williams.

    "On key issues like the outposts, let alone the settlements in the West Bank, and on the hundreds of checkpoints we've not seen significant or even any real moves by the Israelis so far."

    Mr Williams also said the UK government would continue relations with the Iranian and Syrian administrations, despite the US president George Bush's policy of limited communication with them amid allegations they have been interfering in the Iraq conflict.

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    News Source: guardian.co.uk

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