Deutsche Presse Agentur
January 25, 2008 - 6:16pm

The Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was offered a glimmer of hope Thursday that Israel would ease its blockade of Gaza.

He used a discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to call on Israel to open up "passages" to the territory which he proposed the authority should oversee which he said should be set up within days.

The Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak replied that his government had stated its willingness to consider the passages

Barak and Fayyad were joined by the Israeli President Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on the platform to discuss the future of the peace process following talks in Annapolis in November.

Fayyad said he was more "downbeat" about the peace process with Gaza now posing a bigger problem than the question of Israeli settlements.

He said: "Restrictions on Gaza were not bringing anything to people but misery." He described the situation as a pressure cooker and one which was threatening to spiral out of control.

Peres said the next ten months were crucial for the peace process. There was now a profound desire to end the conflict which had helped no one and harmed everyone. The Palestinian Authjority was sincere in its efforts towards peace.

"The conflict is an excess baggage for the rest of the world," he added. He believed the international community was also more committed than ever to finding peace.



American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017