NEWS

Mayors discuss Mideast peace

A Palestinian and two Israeli mayors yesterday decided to sit down and talk about peace. The mayors of Nablus, Ranana and Rishon Letzion met in Athens on the sidelines of a world mayors’ conference, as Israeli troops blew up part of Yasser Arafat’s Ramallah headquarters in response to a Tel Aviv suicide bombing that killed six people on Thursday. «When we started the talks last night… I was surprised we didn’t start with blaming each other and talking about who took the action, and who reacted, but we started as human beings, as two partners, not two parties,» said Nablus Mayor Ghassan Shakaa. «This was a promising talk for me.» Shakaa said he agreed to continue talks with the two Israeli mayors, Ziev Bielski of Ranana and Meir Nitzman of Rishon Letzion, both towns near Tel Aviv. «We should find a way to get out of this mess,» Shakaa said. «We will do our best to achieve what the others failed to achieve.» «I think that we found the right words to express the meaning of peace,» Nitzman said. «If we cannot find a way to live together, I am not sure our children will find it.» Sources said that the draft bill aimed at the «revival of EYP and its functioning on a professional basis, while also instituting guarantees on human rights and citizens’ privacy.»