Israel rejects interim peace deal: FM

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JERUSALEM, Nov 03, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni plans to tell an upcoming Quartet conference that the Jewish country will not sign any interim peace agreement with Palestinians, local news service Ynet reported Monday.

Livni made the remarks in an interview with Ynet ahead of a Quartet meeting on Nov. 9 at Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el- Sheikh, during which she is scheduled to give a joint briefing, alongside top Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei, on the status quo of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Representatives of the Quartet, which groups the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, will meet in Sharm el-Sheikh to mark the anniversary of the Annapolis conference, at which Israeli and Palestinian leaders pledged to reach a comprehensive peace deal within 2008.

"I will tell them that Israel is genuine in its desire to continue the negotiations... I intend to continue these talks as they have been conducted thus far," the top Israeli diplomat told Ynet.

Commenting on calls on the two sides to sign some kind of interim agreements, Livni stressed that the Israeli government has "no intentions of putting together an interim agreement" and she has "no intention of capitulating to any sort of pressure to produce interim documents."

As little tangible progress has so far been made, the ambitious Annapolis goal is drifting further out of reach. Meanwhile, many Israeli and Palestinian officials have repeatedly stressed that they would not accept any interim deal.

According to the report, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and high-ranking officials from some other countries will attend the Quartet.