Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: Abbas and Sharon agree to end bloodshed. Bush scrambling to take credit. .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Abbas and Sharon agree to end bloodshed. Bush scrambling to take credit.

Palestinian and Israeli leaders declare end to years of violence

Will wonders never cease? Israel and Palestine agree on something more than to disagree.

"We have agreed on halting all violent actions against Palestinians and Israelis wherever they are," Abbas declared in a statement made after the meetings, as he, Sharon, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II sat around a round table.

Sharon made a similar pledge. "Today, in my meeting with chairman Abbas, we agreed that all Palestinians will stop all acts of violence against all Israelis everywhere, and, at the same time, Israel will cease all its military activity against all Palestinians everywhere," he said

Of course, the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the hardliners in Sharon's party haven't bought into the plan yet, and whether they'll abide by both leaders' pledge remains to be seen.

Broad strokes of the plan include the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel, Israeli pullout from parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the return of Egyptian and Joradian ambassadors to Israel.

The two leaders hammered out their agreement in Egypt in the company of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II.

Although no representatives from the United States were present, Condo Rice managed a photo op and sound bite from Rome after the agreement was reached, and Bush handlers primed the American media with reminders about Dubya's invitations to the White House to both leaders.

Who wants to lay odds that the Bush administration will take credit for this accord?

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