Israel's beleaguered prime minister Ehud Olmert says a peace deal is close between Israel and the Palestinians. And says Israel is moving toward direct talks with Syria.
If this happens before the end of the year, this would be the best news to come out during the Bush administration. But the latest potential peace broker is not the United States. But France. The announcement comes at the end of a meeting between Olmert, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and French Pres. Nicholas Sarkozy.
The United States had hoped to spark peace talks following a meeting last year in Annapolis. But those efforts have proved disappointing.
Possibly derailing all this is the police net that is tightening around Olmert who is facing an official corruption investigation.