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Mideast solution could be within grasp - ElBaradei

Written by: Staff

WASHINGTON, Oct 25 (Reuters) A solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is within grasp if the international community commits to a blueprint and pursues dialogue, according to the head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency.

Speaking at the University of Maryland, Mohammed ElBaradei, executive director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, declared that conflicts like those in the Middle East ''cannot be solved through military force'' and he called for a new broad approach focusing on human security rather than state security.

''A solution to this (Israel-Palestinian) conflict is within our grasp, provided that the conditions are created to enable this solution to come into being,'' he said yesterday.

The central elements of a solution have long been known, so involved parties should try a new tact by beginning with the blueprint of a settlement and then ''work backward towards the details of implementation,'' ElBaradei said.

''Because there is already a great deal of agreement on what that blueprint should look like, agreement is not far away,'' he said in delivering the university's ''Sadat lecture for peace,'' named after the assassinated former leader of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, who signed a peace treaty with Israel.

ElBaradei pressed his call for a re-engineering of the international concept of security, including more global strategies and remedies that are ''centered on the welfare of the individual and not simply focused on the security of the state.'' He complained that conflicts in West Asia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia persisted ''because the international community, despite intermittent efforts, has not made the necessary investments nor mustered the resolve needed to end these conflicts.'' REUTERS SAM DS1140

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