Olmert Offers Talks With Arab Leaders

Cites Saudi peace plan as positive step
By Greg Atwan,  Newser User
Posted Apr 2, 2007 1:06 PM CDT
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Ehud Olmert says he's keen for multilateral talks with Arab leaders, after a Saudi summit last week produced the outlines of a peace plan, Haaretz reports. "The readiness to accept Israel as a fact and to debate the terms of a future solution is a step that I cannot help but appreciate," the PM told a press conference yesterday.

Olmert claims his country is now ready to make "big and painful" concessions to restart the peace process, though he reiterated a day earlier that the right of return in any form was not among them. EU president Angela Merkel, at his  side during the announcement, has been trying to broker peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.