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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 December 2003, 14:26 GMT
Profiles: The Geneva peacemakers
Yossi Beilin (left) and Yasser Abed Rabbo
Unofficial peacemakers: Yossi Belin (left) and Yasser Abed Rabbo
Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo have made careers out of trying to negotiate peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Now, with the Geneva accord, they are at the centre of unofficial efforts to revive talks that have been stalled for more than three years.


Yasser Abed Rabbo:
Born in Jaffa in 1945, Yasser Abed Rabbo is a refugee. He was a lead negotiator for the Palestinians for many years and one of their main spokesmen.

CAREER HISTORY
Yasser Abed Rabbo
Founder member of leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Headed PLO Information and Culture Department between 1973 and 1994
Left DFLP in 1991 to found Palestinian Democratic Union
Palestinian minister of culture and information 1994-2001
Part of negotiating team at all major Israeli-Palestinian talks. Went on to head the team, but resigned in 2001
Though a close and trusted associate of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat over many years, Mr Abed Rabbo has drawn away from Mr Arafat recently. He declined to join a new Palestinian cabinet in 2002.

There is no outward sign of a rift between the two men, though Mr Abed Rabbo has been an increasingly vocal advocate of the sort of peace initiatives that Mr Arafat is wary of backing fully.

Mr Abed Rabbo recently toured the United States with the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Coalition. He and Yossi Beilin run a series of education forums on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In 2001, Mr Abed Rabbo was one of the prominent Palestinians and Israelis who signed a declaration calling for an end to violence and to the Israeli occupation.


Yossi Beilin:
Born in 1948, Yossi Beilin has held ministerial posts in the governments of Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak, making him one of the most experienced left-wing Israeli politicians.

CAREER HISTORY
Yossi Beilin
11 years as Knesset member
Cabinet secretary in 1984
Minister of Justice 1999-2001
Other government jobs: deputy foreign minister, deputy finance minister, minister of economy and planning
He has also been a leading mainstream proponent of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mr Beilin was the prime mover on the Israeli side behind the secret talks that resulted in the 1993 Oslo Accords.

He headed the Israeli delegation to the Multilateral peace process working groups from 1992-95 and was a negotiator at the Taba talks with the Palestinians in January 2001.

Mr Beilin also headed the popular campaign that eventually led to Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000.

Out of government since Ariel Sharon's election victory in 2001, Mr Beilin has kept busy negotiating the Geneva accord and sponsoring Israeli legislation guaranteeing equal representation for Israeli Arabs in public administration and government-owned companies.




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