Israel's Peres set to meet with U.S. officials
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Israel's foreign minister opens two days of talks with U.S. officials Wednesday over an Egyptian-Jordanian plan to end months of Mideast strife.
Peres has been talking with Egypt and Jordan about the prospect of a cease-fire and a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after seven months of clashes.
Peres met with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah last weekend to discuss the initiative, which calls for talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume four weeks after a cease-fire took effect.
"To have an agreement, you have to sit with a piece of paper and write it down in small print. This did not yet happen," Peres said Monday during a visit to the United Nations. "But as a general concept, we reached an understanding."
Israel is seeking a trial period of two or three months before restarting negotiations.
"We will consider the situation only according to the results on the ground, and not according to statements and promises," Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told Javier Solana, the European Union security affairs chief at a meeting on Monday.
Israel insists that the violence must end before it resumes peace talks with the Palestinians, but it agreed over the weekend to lift restrictions on Palestinian workers.
After an earlier hands-off approach, the Bush administration has recently adopted a more active role in the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.
Two weeks ago it condemned an Israeli reoccupation of a corner of Gaza, with Israeli forces quickly withdrawing -- although it strongly denied this was a result of international pressure.
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