The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Israel asks US not to meddle

Jerusalem, Dec. 4 (Reuters): An adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon urged Washington today not to meddle in Israeli politics in the latest show of displeasure over planned US talks with authors of a symbolic West Asia peace pact.

The rare public row between Israel and its chief ally continued to smoulder as Palestinian factions opened negotiations in Cairo aimed at reaching an agreement on a truce considered crucial to reviving US-backed peace moves.

However, US secretary of state Colin Powell said today he would meet the authors of the peace plan today despite Israeli misgivings.

“I will be meeting them tomorrow,” Powell said at Nato headquarters in Brussels.

Powell repeated his defence of the plan today and reiterated the Bush administration’s commitment to the US-backed West Asia “road map” peace plan which has been bogged down for months.

The scheduled talks have drawn unusually sharp Israeli criticism of the US, which has signalled impatience with Sharon’s foot-dragging on a stalled international “road map” to end three years of violence.

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