Peace Deal Unlikely This Year: Israel

Minister sets sights on 'declaration' with Palestine
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2008 7:06 PM CST
Palestinian security officers loyal to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, also known Abu Mazen, aim their guns during a military training in the West Bank town of Jenin, Monday, Feb 11, 2008. A...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Israel and Palestine probably won't sign a peace deal this year but could agree on a "declaration of principles," a top Israeli minister said today. The announcement by Vice Prime Minister Haim Ramon follows weeks of warnings that a peace treaty could topple Israeli's coalition government, and that Palestine's president lacks the influence to fulfill such a deal.

Ramon's statement also clashes with President Bush’s goal of brokering a peace agreement during his presidency. But Ramon added that a declaration could contain enough details to “lead to a Palestinian state” within two or three years. "It has to be detailed enough in order to implement it in the years that will come after 2008," he said.