Israeli President, Shimon Peres, has stated on Sunday that the State of Israel wants to restart the long forestalled peace process with the Palestinian people.Peres’ comments came at the World Economic Forum, hosted in Amman, Jordan, and follow Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas’ speech on Saturday where he stated that peace was ‘still possible’ and called on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territory, release political prisoners and dismantle Israel’s settlement project.
Peres’ echoed Abbas statements, saying that peace was a “real possibility’ and that “[t]his is an important opportunity to reiterate our will, not to waste time and to return to negotiations and complete the peace process with the Palestinians based on two states for two peoples.”
Palestinian parliamentarian and Chief Negotiator, Saeb Erekat, also spoke to press at the forum, reiterating the call for a two state solution based on the 1967 borders, with minor land swaps. Erekat’s statements were more cautious, though, calling on both Peres and the U.S. government to work on persuading current Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netenyahu, to resume talks.
Israeli news site, The Times of Israel has reported that Peres and Abbas have held private meeting at the forum, prior to both men participating in a panel with King Abdullah II of Jordan later on Sunday, and current comments come in the wake of U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry’s trip to the Middle East.
Kerry’s trip has included discussions with both Netenyahu and Abbas on the resumption of talks based on the two state solution; a proposal that British Foreign Secretary, William Hague recently stated was slipping away, and many commentators have opined has been dead for several years.