Israeli Vice Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, stated in an interview with an Israeli newspaper on Thursday, that the Israeli position regarding any future peace agreement rejects a withdrawal from Jerusalem, and rejects a full withdrawal from the territories occupied since 1967.Answering a question regarding the future of Jerusalem, Peres said that “Israel has a clear position rejecting the withdrawal from the city”, and added that the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, always expressed this position even when he was the mayor of Jerusalem.
Peres explained that Israel will not accept to withdraw to the 1967 borders, but “will withdraw to borders that most of the Israelis, including the right wing, agree on”.
“The solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is by a two-state solution”, he stated, “No doubt, we will have to withdraw from most of the West Bank, but this does not specifically mean that we will withdraw to the 1967 borders”.
He also said that the United Nations resolutions demands a withdrawal to what he described as “safe borders” and not from all of the territories occupied since 1967.
Answering a question regarding the Saudi Peace Initiative, Peres said that Israel cannot accept it as it is because of two issues; the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees, and the issue of Jerusalem.
Regarding the Israeli-Syrian conflict over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, Peres claimed that “the Syrian government demands that Israel withdraws from the Golan Heights, but refuses to hold peace talks with Israel”.
He added that “negotiations with Syria stopped because the Syrians do not want peace talks with Israel”.
Arab leaders who ended their summit on Wednesday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, renewed their peace initiative which was offered in 2002.
The Initiative calls for a full Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied since 1967, including the east of Jerusalem, in exchange for full peace and normalization with the Arab world.
The plan also calls for a “just solution” to the Palestinian refugees who were displaced by Israel during the 1948 war.