World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Sharon Tells Russians He May Meet Qorei Soon

Sharon May Meet Qorei "within days", Lobbies in Moscow against "roadmap"

An official with the Israeli delegation in Russia said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon may meet his Palestinian counterpart Ahmed Qorei "within days."

The official who asked not to be named said "Contacts have been established ahead of such a meeting, but that the Israeli side has to wait and see if Qorei succeeds in forming his new government and how things evolve.

The meeting would be the first between Sharon and Qorei as Palestinian prime minister. Israeli defence minister Shaul Mofaz on Monday has confirmed to have held recent talks with Palestinian officials but refused to say with whom and give details on the talks. Earlier a palestinian source said Mofaz had met last week Palestinian finance minister Salam Fayyad.

Paradoxically Sharon on Monday meets with President Vladimir Putin to try and convince Russia to drop efforts to turn the so-called Middle East "roadmap" to peace plan into a binding UN resolution. For his part, Palestinian chairman Yasser Arafat says that Palestinian Authority "is ready" to speak with Israeli officials. After meeting Greek officials in his Ramallah headquarters, Arafat was asked if any meeting had taken place between Israeli or Palestinian officials recently.

Arafat responded, "Until now officially no, not yet. But we are ready!". Arafat was responding to comments by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon saying he would welcome talks with his Palestinian counterpart, Ahmed Qorei, who was installed in office in September.

Arafat also formally asked Qorei to form a government, and the latter accepted. Palestinian officials said they hoped the work could be completed in a few days. Meanwhile, Palestinian MPs on Monday elected a new parliament speaker to succeed Ahmed Qorei, who had to step down a month ago when he was appointed to head the emergency government.

Rafiq al-Natshe became the new head of the Palestinian Legislative Council after obtaining the vote of 53 out of the 70 deputies who attended the session in Ramallah. His rival for the post Burhan Jarraf only mustered 10 votes. Nine of the MPs who took part in the election did so by video-conference from the Gaza Strip after failing to obtain the necessary permits from the Israeli authorities.

Natshe, who was supported by Qorei, vowed to continue the reforms process and reaffirmed his attachment to the rule of law in his inaugural speech to parliament. The 69- year-old served as agriculture minister in Mahmud Abbas's government earlier this year and as labour minister from 1998 to 2002.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Climate Change: Record Northern Heat, Fuels Concerns Over US Wildfire Destruction

More than 78,000 acres of forest in the Sierra mountains in California has been lost due to wildfires. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ... More>>

UN: Guterres Condemns Killing Of Journalists, Following Beheading Of Mexican Crime Reporter

© UNESCO | International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Following the gruesome death of a Mexican journalist specializing in crime reporting, who was found beheaded on Wednesday, UN chief António Guterres has issued a statement condemning ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>

WWF: Living Planet Report Reveals Average Two-Thirds Decline In Wildlife Populations Since 1970

According to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020 released today, global populations* of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average two-thirds decline in less than half a century. The decline is due in large part to the very ... More>>