Saturday, November 28, 2009

Costa Rican president visiting Israel: Palestinians don't need army

(YNet).The recipe for peace between Israel and the Palestinians includes negotiations, honesty, immediate talks on the core issues, and the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state – this is the vision presented by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias in a special interview with Ynet.

In an interview with Ynet after meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Arias said his attempt to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace stems from Costa Rica's unique history. In 1948, the year Israel was established, the Latin state approved its new constitution, which abolished the army.

"I think the whole world expects both sides to return to the negotiating table," Arias said, adding that he shared with Netanyahu his personal peace-making experience. Contacts must be held at the highest levels and the talks must be personal, he said.

"You have to look your opponent in the eye," he said, noting that late PM Rabin also stressed that peace is made with enemies.

The Costa Rican president said he accepted Netanyahu's call for a demilitarized Palestinian state. He noted that in his talks with the Palestinians he seeks to convince them to do without a military.

"A small, poor state like Palestine doesn't need an army," he said, adding that some courage is needed to take such decision and expressing his hope that the Palestinian Authority will have the courage to adopt such step.