Peace needs patience, says Rabin

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The Independent Online
YITZHAK RABIN, the Israeli Prime Minister, attempted yesterday to defuse the sense of crisis surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, saying patience is needed if disagreements are to be settled.

Although the target date for starting Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho passed nearly three weeks ago, Mr Rabin said that it may take 'a few more weeks' before terms for the withdrawal are agreed with the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Mr Rabin insisted that Israel would continue to demand control, in co-ordination with the Palestinians, over who should pass the border crossings into Gaza and Jericho.

Palestinian insistence on overall control at the borders is the main sticking point in the talks.

After the failure of the two sides to reach agreements in Cairo last week, Mr Rabin said that his government would consider new Palestinian proposals in a few days' time, and low-level negotiations could then begin again in the Red Sea resort of Taba. Mr Rabin said Israel remained committed to the Declaration of Principles, signed in September, but insisted that Israel would not compromise over security.

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