Wednesday, Jul 23, 2003
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The dispute over Jerusalem is a major reason why past peace efforts collapsed, and an issue certain to rise again if the sides proceed with the "road map" peace plan that aims to end violence and establish a Palestinian state by 2005.
The Maariv daily said Mr. Peres raised the idea on Monday with visiting Russian officials. Mr. Peres aide, Yoram Dori, confirmed the report. The "world capital" idea appeared to be largely symbolic. According to Maariv, Mr. Peres proposed that the U.N. Secretary-General be declared Mayor, in which capacity he would appoint Jewish and Arab Deputy Mayors to administer the two sides' intertwined neighbourhoods.
The United Nations has in the past taken a position on Jerusalem, one of the most intractable issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Under a 1947 General Assembly resolution partitioning British mandatory Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, the city was to be internationalised, belonging to neither side. AP
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