Israel: Any Deal With PA Based on Road Map

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today to discuss the differences between the two sides on the framework for the peace talks being drafted by teams of negotiators.

Israel is demanding that any future agreement between the two sides should be implemented in accordance with the stages set out by the road map. Furthermore, Israel has said any progress toward the establishment of a Palestinian state must meet the first requirement of the plan, which requires Palestinian security to undertake continuous and effective operations to counter terrorism in the territories.

For the first time, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who leads the Israeli negotiating team, will participate in the Olmert-Abbas meeting.

During her meeting with U.S. National Security Adviser Steven Hadley yesterday, Livni said that the implementation of the agreements must be conditioned by the requirements of the road map.

Olmert, who dined with Hadley last night, briefed him on his meetings earlier during the week with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The talks between the two negotiating teams are focused on the general framework of the settlement, and substantive issues have still not been discussed.

The Palestinian delegation, headed by Ahmed Qureia, say the PA has fulfilled the first stage of the road map by reorganizing its leadership and government. They also say Israel has failed to meet its commitments during the first stage, especially in failing to remove West Bank outposts.

For its part, the Israeli side says that the Palestinians have done nothing to meet their security obligations, and that the evacuation of outposts does not have the same degree of urgency as maintaining security and containing terrorism.

Meanwhile, the governor of Nablus, Jamal Muhaisel, said yesterday that in two or three weeks the PA will deploy hundreds of national security forces in the city, as part of efforts by the Palestinian government to check criminal behavior in the city.

Several weeks ago Israel authorized the deployment of policemen to the city, but the PA said it was not yet ready.