Photo: Yaron Brenner
Vice Premier Peres
Photo: Yaron Brenner

Peres to Abbas: No meeting with PM without Shalit release

Vice Premier tells Abbas that any future meeting with Olmert conditioned on release of kidnapped soldier, cessation of Qassam fire; 'Abbas can come with complaints only to his own people,' he says

Vice Premier Shimon Peres told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would meet with him only after the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, and the cessation of Qassam rocket fire. The two met during a convention of the UN general assembly in New York.


"Those who actively prevent the release of Palestinian prisoners are the kidnappers of Gilad Shalit themselves. Abbas can come with complaints only to his own people," Peres said. Abbas on the other hand stressed that he is personally working very hard and making every effort to secure the release of the kidnapped soldier.


Abbas added that if a Palestinian national unity government was formed it would commit itself to respecting all of the agreements signed with Israel, including the Rabin – Arafat agreement including mutual recognition of the rights of both nations to live in sovereign states.


Abbas declared he supported Peres' economic peace plan in the Jordan Valley region – a plan dubbed as the Peace Valley program - adding that the Palestinians were now interested in economic cooperation with Israel, Egypt, and Jordan.


Goldwasser approaches Lebanese president

Regarding the Arab League initiative, Peres said that the League must first prove it controls Hizbullah. "If not, it can't promote any diplomatic initiative and represent states that don't have security control," he said.


Peres' aides said that despite the comments, the meeting was seen as positive, ahead of the possible dialogue between Israel and Abbas.


Karnit Goldwasser, wife of kidnapped soldier Ehud, attended a speech by Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud at the UN building in New York. At the end of the speech, Goldwasser approached the Lebanese president and introduced herself. Lahoud made a comment in Arabic and continued onwards.


פרסום ראשון: 09.21.06, 20:59
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