Peres for resumption of Mideast peace talks
John Kerry attends meeting between Peres and Abbas Southern Shuneh (AP): Israel's president has urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to overcome...
John Kerry attends meeting between Peres and Abbas Southern Shuneh (AP): Israel's president has urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to overcome differences and resume peace negotiations, saying the sides could not afford "to lose this opportunity." President Shimon Peres issued his call ahead of a gathering of Mideast leaders on the sidelines of a conference hosted by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum on the shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan. Sunday's conference included a rare face-to-face meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, with the participation of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has devoted much of the past two months to restarting long-stalled peace talks.
"We shouldn't lose the opportunity because it will be replaced by a great disappointment," Peres told reporters in Jordan. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed. He blamed the growing mistrust on Israeli moves, essentially construction in West Bank settlements and detention of hundreds of Palestinians. Abbas reiterated his rejection of partial solutions. "We will neither accept interim solutions, nor a state with temporary borders or a peace based on economic perks without progress on the political track," he said. Palestinian-Israeli peace talks broke down nearly five years ago, in large part due to disagreements over Israeli settlement construction on occupied territories claimed by the Palestinians. The Palestinians say there is no point in negotiating while Israel continues to build Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, which they say undermines their quest to set up an independent state. The Palestinians want both areas, captured by Israel in 1967, as parts of their state.