'Support moderate Palestinians.' Livni (archive photo)
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Monday urged Arab states to engage the Jewish state in peace talks, ahead of an Arab League meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo.
"Just as Israel is giving the Palestinians a diplomatic horizon, the Arab states can give Israel a diplomatic horizon now instead of waiting for the end of the conflict," Livni's office quoted her as telling China's envoy to the Middle East, Sun Bigan.
Livni also called on Arab states to support moderate Palestinians in a bid to reach a peace deal with the Jewish state.
"The Arab world will have to strengthen moderate Palestinians at the crucial moments and necessary compromises" in future peace talks, she said.
"There is no intention for the Arab states to replace the bilateral Israeli-Palestinian track, but they certainly can and should support it," she said.
Livni thanked the Chinese envoy for his willingness to meet with the kidnapped soldiers’ families and asked that he brief him on his recent visits to Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Sunday that Israel was ready for talk with Arab nations over their peace plan which was revived at a summit in Riyadh last month.
The blueprint offers the Jewish state peace and normal ties in exchange for Israel's withdrawal from Arab land occupied during the 1967 Six Day War, the creation of a Palestinian state, and a return of Palestinian refugees.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have largely been stalled for six years.
Israel refuses to hold talks with the Palestinian government, where the radical Hamas movement is a senior coalition partner, and restricts talks with moderate president Mahmud Abbas mostly to security and humanitarian issues.
Twelve Arab foreign ministers are to gather on Wednesday in Cairo where the Arab League has its headquarters to discuss the revived Saudi-drafted peace plan.