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GCC TO HOLD ELECTRONIC CONFERENCE
Riyadh,19th March 2001

  THE SAUDI ENGLISH NEWSPAPERS EDITORIALLY COMMENTED ON MONDAY ON A NUMBER OF TOPICS.

  UNDER TITLE /NEW HOPE/ 'RIYADH DAILY' SAID, THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT IN NORTHERN IRELAND WAS REACHED LARGELY DUE TO FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT CLINTON'S EFFORTS. AFTER THE DEAL, U.S.A. REMAINED IN THE RING AS A REFEREE, ACTING WHENEVER NECESSARY, PROVING THAT ITS INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL FOR PEACE PROCESS THERE AND TO SIGNAL CONTINUITY, THE NEW BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS PROMISED TO STAY INVOLVED AND BACK THE PEACE PROCESS.

  THE PAPER ADDS THAT WHEN GOOD FRIDAY ACCORD WAS SIGNED, HOPES WERE HIGH ABOUT PEACE BEING VERY NEAR, BUT THOSE HOPES WERE HOWEVER BELIED AS THE ANTAGONISTS CROSSED SWORDS OVER THE DECOMMISSIONING OF ARMS.

  RIYADH DAILY POINTED THAT THE MAIN HURDLES IS THE /IRA'S/ STAND ON DISARMAMENT ARISING OUT OF A LACK OF TRUST IN THE INTENTIONS OF ITS FOES.

  THE PAPER CONCLUDED BY SAYING, ACHIEVING PEACE IN NORTHERN IRELAND MAY NOT BE SO EASY, BUT IT IS NOT GOING TO BE TOO DIFFICULT WITH MUTUAL TRUST AMONG FOES AS THE PROTESTANTS AND CATHOLICS HAVE UNDERSTOOD THAT CONTINUING THE CONFLICT IS A FUTILE EXERCISE.

  ON THE OTHER HAND, JEDDAH-BASED /ARAB NEWS/ , COMMENTING ON ARIEL SHARON'S CURRENT VISIT TO WASHINGTON, SAID THAT WHILE THE NEW ISRAELI PREMIER INTENDS TO OUTLINE HIS PLANS FOR PEACE WITH THE PALESTINIANS, THERE IS NO EXPECTATION OF RESUMING NEGOTIATIONS OR ANY ALLEVIATION OF THE ISRAELI SIEGE UNLESS ARAFAT, AS SHARON SAID, MOVES TO QUELL THE UPRISING.

  THE PAPER CONTINUES TO SAY, SHARON SEEMS TO MEAN WHAT HE SAYS, AS DOES ARAFAT WHO HAS REPEATEDLY WARNED THAT HE WILL SUSTAIN THE UPRISING UNTIL ISRAEL ENDS ITS OCCUPATION OF THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES.

  THE PAPER WHILE DESCRIBING THAT AS STALEMATE, SAID U.S.A., BEING THE CO-SPONSOR OF THE OSLO PEACE PROCESS SHOULD TRY TO BREAK THIS STALEMATE BY TRYING SOME SORT OF EQUIVALENCE BETWEEN PEOPLE UNDER OCCUPATION AND THEIR OCCUPIERS.

  'AS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS TURNED OUT TO BE CLOSER TO THE ISRAELI SIDE THAN IT IS TO THE ARAB SIDE, IT IS HIGH TIME FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION TO PLAY A MORE ACTIVE ROLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT', IT SAID.

  IT SAID THAT SOME E. U. OFFICIALS WOULD AGREE THAT THE TIME HAS COME FOR EUROPE TO MOVE TO A MORE POLITICAL AND INDEPENDENT APPROACH TO PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

Source: SPA 

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19 March 2001 04:50:54 PM

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