President Shimon Peres
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov

Peres: Israel needs to present peace plan

President urges PM Netanyahu to stop wasting time amid reports of formulating US peace initiative. 'Instead of others presenting plans, Israel should present its own,' he says

Pressure on prime minister over peace efforts are increasing – this time from President Shimon Peres' direction. "Instead of others presenting plans, Israel should present its own plan," Peres said Friday, a day after the New York Times reported that US President Barack Obama plans to unveil a new peace initiative.


"We don't need more peace plans, we need to implement peace," Peres added during a tour of the Negev. The president said that the NYT report was "nothing but speculation".


On Thursday, the US paper reported that the White House has been working on a new peace initiative for the past three months, one that revolves around a few key principles: A Palestinian state without the right of return, Jerusalem as the capital of both states, and an emphasis on Israel's security needs.


According to the report, there is an internal struggle within the White house over the issue with an ongoing race between the US government, the EU and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over who will unveil the plan first.


The paper claims that two American elements had warned Netanyahu that if he intends to put forward a bold peace initiative, he had better present it to the Knesset first.


Basic right

Meanwhile, Palestinian leaders stressed Thursday that they will not waive the right of return in peace negotiations with Israel following reports suggesting the White House is working on an outline for a Middle East peace plan.


"We oppose any US peace plan which wants us to waive one of our most basic rights and that is the right of return for refugees," Fatah Central Committee Member Nabil Shaath said.


Officials at the Prime Minister's Office did not rush to respond to the NY Times report. On Thursday, sources in Jerusalem said that Israel was not surprised by the US plan.


"Everyone knew something was being formulated in Washington," one official said.



פרסום ראשון: 04.22.11, 14:25
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