Though quiet on important issues, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said that he is willing to take political risks to return to direct talks with the Palestinian AuthorityIn a meeting with the EU foreign policy chief, Netanyahu reiterated his commitment to beginning direct talks with the Palestinians. He underlined his willingness to take political risks to reach agreement with the Palestinians, as long as he does not have to take any security risks.
He also expressed his desire to progress rapidly if or when direct talks can be initiated. The Prime Minister thinks that a deal could be reached within a year and then implemented slowly over a few preceding years.
None of Netanyahu’s advances have produced tangible results for him up to this point. He has held meetings with other officials such as US President Barack Obama, Tony Blair and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Netanyahu is hoping for pressure on Palestinian President Abbas from the Arab League Summit set to be held at the end of July.
It seems the Palestinians are waiting to hear about his stance on the settlement freeze that is set to expire at the end of September before committing to direct talks. Prime Minister Netanyahu has avoided giving a clear position on this issue as it is a point of contention within his ruling coalition.