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Monday, January 04, 2010

Netanyahu thinks it's time for talks

Prime Minister Netanyahu told his Likud party on Monday that he believes that it is time for Israel to sit and talk to the 'Palestinians' without preconditions.
The prime minister went on to say, "I wish for the resumption of talks without preconditions… in which both sides can express their views… and I will insist on maintaining our national interests."
But Netanyahu, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe (Boogie) Yaalon and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman all rejected the notion that an agreement with the 'Palestinians' could be reached within two years.
The prime minister also addressed earlier reports of a US peace initiative that could result in a Palestinian state in two years' time. "I see in the media certain viewpoints, plans and border lines that have been attributed to me. There is no truth in this. I want to clarify that my views have not changed," he said.

Also responding to the US plan, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman asserted Monday that a final status arrangement with the Palestinians could not be reached in the near future.

Speaking during a meeting with Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair, Lieberman said, "It will not be possible to reach an arrangement on final borders within nine months, nor a complete final status arrangement within two years… This is an unrealistic date."

He suggested that the two sides "begin direct talks without committing to any target date."

Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon also responded to reports concerning the Washington peace plan, saying that they were "not even close to being accurate."

The leaders' comments followed an Egyptian confirmation that the US peace plan includes Israeli guarantees for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within two years.

A spokesperson for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry told the country's Al Ahram newspaper on Monday that according to the plan, both sides were to exchange formal letters dealing with mutual guarantees.

The principles behind the White House initiative reportedly include an immediate resumption of talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis with the defined goal of reaching a final status arrangement within two years.

The first issue to be addressed would be that of permanent borders, according to the report. It also said that the target date established by US President Barack Obama to reach a compromise on the border issue was nine months, before the end of the settlement construction moratorium in Judea and Samaria.

According to the plan, immediately following the demarcation of defined borders, negotiations would shift to more complex issues ranging from the future of Jerusalem to the status of Palestinian refugees.

Obama reportedly expects a formal exchange of guarantees between the Israelis and Palestinians. In conjunction, it is believed by the White House that members of the Arab League will come out in support of this phase of the proceedings in order to help the Palestinian Authority leader raise his stature among the Palestinian public.
On top of that, the despicable Shlomo Ben Ami has emerged from his cave.
In an interview with Army Radio on Monday morning, former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami stressed that "Hamas must be included in the process" even if it means losing momentum for jump-starting peace talks with the Palestinians. Ben-Ami went on to say that "the moderate elements will not accept a decision that the extremists will define as treason."
What could go wrong?


At 7:50 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Ben Ami must be joking.... Hamas is never going to sit down and talk to Israel. All the statements from Israeli leaders today show that while they're keeping alive the charade there is a peace process, no one in Israel seriously expects real negotiations with the Palestinians to occur any time soon.


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