Mideast interim accord taking shapeOctober 21, 1998
Web posted at: 9:14 a.m. EDT (1314 GMT)
WYE MILLS, Maryland (CNN) -- The framework of a Middle East interim peace agreement was taking shape as Palestinian and Israeli leaders entered the seventh day of intense negotiations at a secluded Maryland retreat on Wednesday.
If an interim accord is signed at the summit, it would be a big step toward finalizing a comprehensive settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Among the latest developments:
On Wednesday, U.S. officials said that progress has been made in efforts to break the 19-month stalemate in the Middle East talks.
U.S. State Department spokesman James Rubin said Tuesday evening that the talks were "in their most intensive phase yet," but added that "significant gaps" remained.
"I'm not in a position to predict the two sides will reach an agreement," White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said on Tuesday.
U.S. President Bill Clinton has been involved in the tough negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. Also joining the talks on Tuesday was King Hussein of Jordan, who enjoys good relations with both Israelis and Arabs.
CNN was told that a draft agreement currently under discussion was based on the following U.S. proposal for an interim accord between Israelis and Palestinians:
While an interim agreement would be significant, it would only be one key step toward peace, as defined by the Oslo peace accords of 1993.
Under the Oslo accords, the interim agreement should immediately lead to so-called final status talks on such explosive issues as the future status of Jerusalem and the final borders of what would likely become Palestine.
Back to the top
© 2000 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.