Peres to pope: We may achieve peace this year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ronen Medzini - May 11, 2009 - 12:00am

"This year, the year of your visit here, may reveal an opportunity for us and our neighbors to attain peace," President Shimon Peres said as he welcomed Pope Benedict XVI at his official residence in Jerusalem Monday afternoon. "While many political clouds still darken the horizon, and the voices of incitement obscure the sound of peace, and much violence converged on the crossroads of our lives, most peoples in this region yearn for peace," the president said.

Will Netanyahu lead or be dragged in Washington?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gidi Grinstein - (Opinion) May 12, 2009 - 12:00am

On October 23, 1998, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed the Wye River Memorandum, thus bringing about the end of his first government. He did this with his own mouth: After being perceived as undermining the Oslo Accords, and after declared that any withdrawal from more than nine percent of the West Bank would harm Israel's security, he ratified the acccords and sought a 13-percent withdrawal. His term was rife with conflicts with the United States president, and he made both the right and left heartily sick of him. A decade later, Netanyahu is at a similar juncture.

Pope walks out after Muslim cleric accuses Israel of 'slaughter'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 12, 2009 - 12:00am

The head of the Palestinian Sharia court, Sheikh Taysir al-Tamimi, fiercely denounced Israeli policy in the presence of Pope Benedict on Monday and appealed to the pope to help end what he called the "crimes of the Jewish state." Speaking at an interfaith conference held at the Notre Dame Church in East Jerusalem, al-Tamimi accused Israel of slaughtering women, children and senior citizens. The speech was delivered in Arabic, without simultaneous translation, but after the pope was informed of the political nature of al-Tamimi's speech, he left the conference.

Fatah's congress could breathe new life into the movement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Hossam Ezzedine - (Opinion) May 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Fatah leaders and outside observers believe that holding the movement's sixth General Congress could breathe new life into the party by electing new, young leaders and adopting a political platform better suited to the current Palestinian situation. This in turn would strengthen its stance in confronting Hamas, which has dealt two painful blows to Fatah: winning legislative elections (74 seats versus Fatah's 45) in 2006 and taking control of Gaza after fierce fighting in 2007.

Contest to win Obama’s ear
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Matt Bradley - May 12, 2009 - 12:00am

On his first trip to Egypt since his re-election as Israel’s prime minister in March, Benjamin Netanyahu said his new, far right government was committed to peace between Israel and the Palestinian people. But in the press conference that followed yesterday’s summit between Mr Netanyahu and Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt, neither mentioned what many observers here see as the central conflict in yesterday’s meeting: which Middle Eastern leader will win the ear of new US president Barack Obama.

Pope talks of justice in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - May 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Jerusalem yesterday for the start of a five-day tour of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. He was officially received with a lavish reception at the residence of Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, where a children’s choir sang in English, Hebrew and Arabic. In front of 300 invited diplomats, Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious dignitaries and senior Israeli officials, the pontiff urged “peace and security through justice for everyone”.

Obama Speech and Mubarak Visit Signal Improvement in US-Egypt Relations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Joyce Karam - (Opinion) May 12, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim world from Egypt on June 4, and the upcoming visit of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to Washington signal a desire from both leaders to strengthen relations and increase cooperation on regional issues.

No Amendment to the Arab Peace Initiative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed - (Opinion) May 12, 2009 - 12:00am

The Arab [peace] initiative was born as a political miracle amid unusually favorable circumstances at a time when there was a short-lived inter-Arab agreement that enabled all Arabs to accept it. After being signed by all Arab and Islamic states, it is unreasonable for this initiative to be reproduced. It is a miracle because the Arabs rarely agree on a political plan dealing with any issue, namely the conflict with Israel.

The Prime Minister’s statement at the press conference with the President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, at Sharm el-Sheikh
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
May 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Thank you very much Mr. President. I am delighted to see you again. I brought with me an old friend of yours and of Egypt, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer.

UN Security Council calls for a Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Edith M. Lederer - May 12, 2009 - 12:00am

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council on Monday called for "urgent efforts" to create a separate Palestinian state and achieve an overall Mideast peace settlement. In a statement by all 15 members read at the end of an open ministerial meeting, the council stressed that "vigorous diplomatic" action was needed to reach an overall settlement and a two-state solution. It encouraged the Quartet of Mideast peacemakers — the U.N., the U.S., Russia and the European Union — to continue their efforts to promote a comprehensive Mideast settlement.

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