Did Sharon visit Moscow disguised as
Maariv reports that Palestinian Authority no. 2 Abu Mazen attacked Arafat with harsh words, using phrases usually used by US government heads and Prime Minister Sharon. The source – “a confidential report sent by top Russian government officials to their Washington colleagues following Abu Mazen’s visit to Moscow last week.
The report adds that Abu Mazen and other Palestinian top officials are very close in their views to the standpoint of the Israeli government and that there is a nearly complete correlation between the views presented by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the viewpoint presented by Abu-Mazen a few days later.
Following Abu Mazen’s visit to Moscow, which took place immediately following Sharon’s visit, the Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov phoned his American counterpart Colin Powell and reported the developments, called by some diplomatic sources “dramatic”. A wider and more detailed written report was later transmitted from Moscow to Washington, and part of it reached the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem
The reports pointed out, among other things, that Abu Mazen convened the Arab ambassadors and conducted a discussion with them described as “sharp and genuine”. Abu Mazen said, among other things, that Arafat made a grave mistake when he didn’t prevent the outbreak of the Intifada and headed it. He said that he and other top Palestinian officials warned Arafat, time and time again, but he didn’t heed them. According to Abu Mazen, the Intifada has brought the Palestinians very harsh results, to a severe failure in all fields, to a loss of purpose and to a dead end.
Abu Mazen pointed out that he and other Palestinian leaders have come to the understanding that they must accept Israel’s demand: A complete cessation of the violence, of all kinds, as a first stage. Only after complete quiet returns can the political process be rehabilitated, he said.
According to the Russian report, the secret negotiations between PM Sharon and top Palestinian officials led to a complete acceptance of the layout offered by Sharon: First a cessation of violence, then a renewal of the political negotiation towards the establishment of a Palestinian state within temporary borders. Abu Mazen said that in the current situation it would be very difficult to calm the field and to impose its authority over the rejectionist organizations."
Sorry there’s more, but I’ve got to go over and see my Mum, now.
(My translation, by the way).