The two have not met since Peres' publicly made comments against an Iran strike. His statements were seen as criticism of Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's policy vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic.
- Peres: Don't be alarmed by threats
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Sources at the President's Residence said last week that the president and prime minister were set to meet before Netanyahu's trip to the UN General Assembly in New York later this month.
Reconciled? Peres and Netanyahu (Photo: AP)
Last month Peres came out openly against an Israeli military strike in Iran and said: "It is clear that we can cannot do it (attack) on our own. We can delay it (Iran's nuclear program), but we realize we have to proceed together with America. There are questions of cooperation and of timetables, but as severe as the danger is, at least this time we're not alone."
In response, Prime Minister Netanayahu's aides said "Shimon Peres has forgotten what his role is as president of the State of Israel," adding: "Peres forgot that he made at least three cardinal mistakes related to national security.
"He erred when he thought the Oslo Accords would bring a new Middle East, when in reality the process claimed the lives of more than 1,000 Israelis and resulted in terror attacks originating from the territories he ceded to the Palestinians," one of the aides said.
Last week the president remained ambivalent to the aides' criticism, he continued to speak out against a military strike against Iran.
At a tribute ceremony for reservists held at the President's Residence, Peres said that "Israel is stronger than ever" and stressed that "one shouldn't be alarmed by Middle East threats." The ceremony was also attended by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.
"The Middle East is replete with both new and old threats," he said. "One shouldn't underestimate these threats but not be alarmed by them either. Israel today is stronger than ever.
"Israel has its own means of defense – those created in the past, those being developed today and those that will be developed tomorrow. Our defense isn't static and isn’t banal. The future offers a dimension of hope, not just of concern."
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