Visiting Italy Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, held a meeting, on Thursday, with Israeli President, Shimon Peres, and the two held talks on the efforts to resume the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.Israeli paper, Yedioth Aharonoth, reported that the office of Peres demanded that details of the talks should remain anonymous, while a source at Peres’ office refused to confirm or deny the meeting took place.
The paper said that although Peres does not openly denounce the polices of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, he expresses in private meetings his concerns regarding the stalled peace process.
Peres and Abbas held separate meetings with UN secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, who said that he supports the efforts to establish an independent Palestinian State.
Following his meeting with Abbas in Rome, the UN secretary-general said that he hopes that UN member states will realize the legitimate Palestinian statehood demands.
He added that he is concerned regarding stalemate in peace talks, yet he is optimistic regarding the recent speech of U.S President, Barack Obama, regarding the Middle East.
Ban Ki-moon further stated that reconciliation between Fateh and Hamas movements must be based on the international commitments of the Palestinian Authority, and the decisions of the Quartet Committee (the United Nations, The United States, The European Union, and Russia).
According to Yedioth Aharonoth, Peres and Abbas are constantly communicating far away from the media, similar to talks held between Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad.
Visiting Tel Aviv, French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe, presented a French proposal to hold a peace conference in Paris this summer, and warned that should the peace process remain idle, “the international community will have to face the uncomfortable situation in September”, as the Palestinian Authority intends to ask for international recognition of a Palestinian state.
Juppe urged the Palestinians and Israel to return to the negotiations table to hold peace talks based on the outlines presented by Obama during his May 19 speech.
But Netanyahu and his government insist on a Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and reject the internationally guaranteed Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees, in addition to rejecting talks on other main issues such as talks on borders, Jerusalem, settlements and natural resources.