Peres: Israel Should Present Peace Plans

22.04.11 – 17:26
Tel Aviv – PNN – Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Friday amid growing reports that the US is formulating a peace plan for the Middle East, that Isreal should be the ones to create their own inititaive for peace.
To avoid international pressure on Israel over the reported US peace plan, Peres has said that, “instead of others presenting plans, Israel should present its own plan,” and added that “We don’t need more peace plans, we need to implement peace.”

Peres responded to a New York Times report claiming that the US administration had been drafting the new peace plan for the past three months, within which a few crucial elemets were included. Firstly the prerogative of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders but which rejected the Palestinian right of return for refugees. Also the city of Jerusalem as the capital of both states, and of course an emphasis on Israeli security needs.

According to the report, there is an internal struggle within the White house over this issue with a continuous race between the US government, the EU and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over who will unveil the plan first.

The Israeli president has referred to the reported US plans for Middle East peace as being merely speculation.

“It’s too early to say anything, but if we don’t want foreign plans, the best way would be a plan of our own, and if we do that others won’t go ahead with theirs,” Peres said, adding that the “issue isn’t offering peace plans but bringing forth peace.”

Peres’ comments also came after UN political chief Lynn Pascoe and ambassadors of key Security Council countries said it was important to break the peace-talks stalemate soon, as the announced September deadline for reaching an agreement draws ever closer.

Failed peace talks began last September with the objective of an accord in one year but broke down quickly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to suspend further Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian leaders already said that they may seek UN backing for a Palestinian state if the deadline expires without any agreement between the two sides. A move to the UN for backing is one that Israel and its main ally the United States are keen to avert.

“Bold and decisive steps are needed to resolve this decades-long conflict, with vision, leadership and responsibility from all concerned,” Pascoe told a monthly meeting of the Security Council on the Middle East.

Concurrently Palestinian leaders stressed Thursday that they will not waive the right of return in peace negotiations with Israel following reports suggested by the White House.

“We oppose any US peace plan which wants us to waive one of our most basic rights and that is the right of return for refugees,” Fatah Central Committee Member Nabil Shaath said.


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