Photo: Kobi Gideon, PMO
President Peres
Photo: Kobi Gideon, PMO

Peres to leave for WEF conference in Jordan

President's men refuse to disclose names of Arab leaders Peres will meet, citing sensitive nature; Abbas: Still a chance for peace, freeze settlements

President Shimon Peres will leave Sunday morning for a special visit to Jordan to represent Israel on the last day of the World Economic Forum conference held in the Hashemite Kingdom.


Also attending are Jordan's King Abdullah II, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US State Secretary John Kerry. The Presidential Residence refused to disclose with which Arab leaders Peres will meet on his visit.


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Most likely, Peres will meet with King Abdullah II and with President Abbas, and possibly with other Arab leaders.


In attendance are also representatives of Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Pakistan and more.


Also attending the conference are Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is currently the Quartet's envoy to the Middle East.


On Friday, Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a two-hour long meeting discussing the main issues expected to arise in Peres' visit to Jordan.


At the center of the conference, and of main interest to Israel and the Palestinians, is the concluding plenum titled "Breaking the Impasse," during which State Secretary Kerry, Abbas and Peres will speak.


In his speech, Peres is expected to stress the importance of returning to the negotiation table and say that Israel extends its hand in peace to all its neighbors.


Most likely, Kerry will present new developments relating to the peace initiative.


The conference is held under the headline: "Advancing Conditions for Growth and Resilience," and focuses, among other subjects, on the economic challenges faced by regional leaders two years after the Arab Spring.


The conference includes more than 800 participants from some 60 countries, among them 430 participants from the Middle East.


In his speech on Saturday, Jordan's King Abdullah II said that extremism has "grown fat" off of the longstanding conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.


"Good faith talks must get going," he said. He pointed to an Arab peace initiative that offers Arab recognition to Israel in exchange for land to Palestinians based on the 1967 borders. The king called on a halt to Jewish settlement construction in territories claimed by the Palestinians for a future state.


Also speaking at the conference, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas commended Kerry's efforts to renew the peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel, said that "there's still a chance for peace," and called Israel to release Palestinian prisoners and freeze settlement construction.



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פרסום ראשון: 05.25.13, 16:08
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