Friday, March 5, 2010

Labor Minister: Netanyahu truly desires peace; Biden to start indirect peace talks

(Ynet).Days before a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer expressed optimism about the situation in the Middle East and said that "peace negotiations with the Palestinians will begin very soon."

A Palestinian source told the al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper that indirect negotiations mediate by the United States may be launched next week upon Biden's arrival.

According to the minister, he and his fellow Labor Party members "are making sure that the prime minister begins peace negotiations, day and night."

Speaking at a Labor activists' conference in Haifa on Friday, the minister said, "I went together with the prime minister to Egypt's President Mubarak, and I heard him repeat these words, and his commitment to peace."

Ben-Eliezer added that Israel has reached a crucial point. "They are trying to sell to the world the notion that this is an apartheid state. This is a dangerous situation, which compels us, first of all, to depart from the Palestinians after so many years of occupation.

"Fortunately, the prime minister has realized the need for this and he truly does desire peace."