NEW YORK - Israelis and Palestinians resumed their dialogue in New York Tuesday after a tense meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
Former US President Bill Clinton, who moderated a panel held Tuesday evening to discuss Middle East peace, said he believes there is a good chance for a peace agreement, citing the changed circumstances for both the Palestinians and Israel.
The chances of securing a peace treaty at this time are at least 50:50, he said
Speaking at the panel discussion, President Shimon Peres said water and electricity issues must be resolved, adding, "The sun is the world's strongest nuclear reactor."
Peres also stated that in order for peace to last, hunger must be prevented. Later on he said that he predicts "burgeoning tourism" in the region following a peace agreement.
Four leaders in New York (Photo: Israeli Consulate in New York)
The panel taking place in New York is part of an annual assembly organized by the Clinton Global Initiative. During the event, the former US president discussed the threats Israel faces. Technology has given rise to more precise rockets, Clinton said, adding that presently there are few rockets killing many people rather than many rockets killing few.
Clinton also addressed the Arab Peace Initiative, noting there was reason for optimism. He said he was aware that enemies of peace would try to cause trouble should an agreement be reached, but stressed that the region is "screaming for peace" and is in the process of being modernized.
Energy and Optimism
Also speaking at the event, Palestinian PM Fayyad said the first thing needed is an end to clashes in the region.
Presenting his vision for the day after a peace accord is secured, he said that after decades of suffering, the Palestinians will finally be able to channel their energy, time and resources to social and economic achievements.
The Palestinian PM also said peace will facilitate the development of joint projects in the field of energy, as well as a joint effort to save the Dead Sea, "which should not wait for peace."
Khalifa ibn Salman Al Khalifa, the crown prince of Bahrain, also expressed optimism, predicting cooperation in the fields of technology, energy, water and environmental protection. He added that difficult decisions must be made and pledged to offer his assistance during tough times.
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