Netanyahu says he is is willing to discuss the core issues of the Israel-Palestinian conflict

April 26, 2010
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to discuss the core issues of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, namely Jerusalem, borders and security arrangements, as part of the proximity talks with the Palestinians, an Israeli daily reported.

Netanyahu told US special envoy George Mitchell on Sunday that he would be open to a “frank exchange of views” regarding the core issues as part of the indirect talks, Haaretz said. Mitchell met with Netanyahu for a breakfast meeting, after which the prime minister told his cabinet that “Israel wants to immediately begin the peace process. The United States wants to begin the peace process immediately. I can only hope that the Palestinians will also begin the peace process immediately. We will know in the coming days if the process will begin. I hope that it does.”

Senior officials in the Obama administration expressed satisfaction with the results of Mitchell’s visit to Israel. “We are very encouraged following the visit regarding the likelihood of progress in the peace process,” the officials reportedly said. Mitchell will return to the region next week for more meetings with PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Netanyahu.

Officials in Jerusalem are hoping that the visit of the Palestinian leader to Washington in a week will lead to a resumption of proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. A source close to Netanyahu noted yesterday that the Palestinians want the renewed approval of the Arab League before agreeing to hold talks with Israel. On the basis of the information available, such approval is very likely to be given, the source told the Israeli daily.

Palestinian sources said that Mitchell is still expected to deliver clarification regarding the position of the Israeli side on the negotiations, and only after these will the Palestinian Authority seek the support of the Arab League on restarting the proximity talks. Observers believe that the Palestinians will seek the resumption of the proximity talks within two weeks to avoid being seen as not wishing to pursue peace, especially after Obama failed at gaining a freeze on Israeli constructions.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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