Arab League summit (Archive)
Photo: EPA
Photo: Mark Neiman, GPO
President Peres
Photo: Mark Neiman, GPO

Arab League backs Palestinian stance in peace talks

Official expresses support for peace talks, but claims 'Many in Israeli government do not want Arab peace initiative,' says resumption of talks is 'last chance to revive stalled peace process'; President Peres addresses talk, says believes in peace

The Arab League said on Sunday it supported the Palestinian stance on the announcement of resumed peace talks with Israel, but that it was skeptical of Israeli intentions.


The League "is forming a political support network for the Palestinian side in case it accepts to go to the negotiations with the Israeli side," Mohamed Sabih, deputy secretary general for Palestinian affairs and occupied Arab territories, told reporters.


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The Arab League had its doubts about Israel's position on the resumption of peace talks, Sabih said.


"Many in the Israeli government do not want an Arab peace initiative."


Sabih added that the Arab League was monitoring Israel's stance so the talks were not simply "negotiations for the sake of negotiations, going round in a vicious circle".


"This could be the last chance to revive the stalled peace process," he noted.


'There is only the truth of peace'

Also Sunday, President Shimon Peres commented on the expected renewal of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and said "there are those who are skeptical, but do not listen to them. He added there were a few "technical" issues to overcome, but that an initial meeting between the two sides would take place soon.


Peres spoke during a dinner marking the end of the Ramadan fast and praised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who he called the "father of the modern Palestinian state." He added that "there is no alternative for the Arab or Jewish people. Without peace there can be no existence."


The president said he was optimistic about the talks, as "Nowadays the Arab world is undergoing profound changes and it wants to reconnect to the new world. Such developments call for change and we've reached a time when war and terror are no longer useful. I think that the terrorists who want to hurt us are eventually hurting themselves.


He added that "There is only the truth of peace and cooperation. I believe that within the next few days the first meeting will take place."


US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will meet in Washington within "the next week or so" after an agreement on the basis to resume peace talks.


Both Israel and the Palestinian presidency welcomed the development, but the Islamist Hamas movement rejected a return to talks.



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פרסום ראשון: 07.21.13, 20:47
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