'Ready to begin.' Peres (L) and Netanyahu at event
Photo: Yuval Chen

Netanyahu urges Abbas to meet

President Peres, prime minister attend 4th of July reception held by US ambassador, reiterate commitment to peace, friendship with Washington

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his call to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to meet, urging him "not to waste another 15 months."


"I am ready to begin them any time," said Netanyahu. "I am ready to meet today, tomorrow, the next day. In any place."


Netanyahu was speaking at the 4th of July reception in held by US Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham in Herzliya.


"On the fourth of July, Americans celebrate their independence. But America's independence is something all free nations can and should celebrate, because all free nations are indebted to the United States."


Peres (L) with Netanyahus at event (Photo: Yuval Chen)


Addressing the peace process, the Israeli leader said, "The only way to complete peace negotiations are to begin them. And the only way to begin them are to have the two parties sit across from one another and directly negotiate these complex issues together.


"Let's not wait 15 months before we sit down together. This is a great hope, and a great challenge," he said.


President Shimon Peres, who also attended the reception along with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and several Knesset members, expressed his appreciation for Washington's close ties with Israel.


He said the entire world owes thanks to the United States. A world without America is a world without alternative and hope, said the president.


Peres added that Israel was committed to pursue peace and to maintain its "brave" friendship with the United States. He concluded by saying, "God bless America." 


פרסום ראשון: 07.01.10, 22:26
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