Photo: Gil Yohanan
Tzipi Livni in charge of talks
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Livni on Arab initiative: They realized border must change

Following Arab League's announcement on agreement in principle to adopt land swap peace plan, Israeli minister in charge of talks with Palestinians says any deal 'must be fair'

Positive responses were heard in Israel on Tuesday to the Arab League's agreement in principle to adopt a land-swap plan within the framework of a possible agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.


Tzipi Livni, the minister in charge of the negotiations with the Palestinians, said in an interview to Ynet that "the Arab countries are coming and saying to all of us 'amongst all the surrounding tumult, we are still interested in promoting a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.'"


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The land swap principle is likely to grant Israel an opening to continue holding the large settlement blocs in exchange for other areas to be transferred to the Palestinians.


The announcement on the willingness for "minor changes" to the 1967 borders, was made by Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani, at the end of a day of discussions in Washington with senior governmental officials, including US Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi.


Livni also said "the Arab League says they understand that there are reality changes that will require the border line to be altered. Another thing said is that an agreement like this needs to be 'fair.' It needs to be fair for both sides.


"Actually what this means is 'conduct negotiations, we are providing our support. We are backing this move and we are committed to normalization'," said Livni.


In a conversation with Ynet, President Shimon Peres referred to the developments and expressed cautious optimism: "It's good that they have returned to the peace initiative now. It is very important that they reverted back to their support of a two-state solution."


Earlier, Peres also referred to the initiative during his meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican. "Land swaps? Why would I conduct a negotiation before it begins," said Peres.


"The foundation for renewed negotiations exists. We will see if the issue of land swaps can be solved in the talks. The negotiations must begin with the premise of two states for two nations."



פרסום ראשון: 04.30.13, 15:34
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