Monday, March 8, 2010

Netanyahu at Christian conference: Hope indirect talks will lead to direct negotations; VP Yaalon: indirect talks 'does not bode well'

(Ynet).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday welcomed the renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, shortly after the United States announced both parties agreed to resume indirect negotiations.

"We have been close to resuming talks, without preconditions, for nearly a year," Netanyahu added. "I hope we can soon move to direct negotiations which will truly facilitate peace."

Speaking at a pro-Israeli Christian conference in Jerusalem, the prime minister reiterated the principles mentioned in his Bar-Ilan speech, saying he believed "they could lead the way to peace and security."

Meanwhile, Vice Premier and Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon, said Monday that the Palestinian Authority's willingness to hold brokered negotiations "does not bode well," since they cannot replace direct negotiations.

Speaking at a Tel Aviv University conference, Yaalon added that "(such talks) can address the framework for peace talks, but none of the actual issues, especially when the Palestinian leadership continues to negate the Jewish people's connection to the Land of Israel, while simultaneously cultivating hatred and opposition to Israel's existence and trying to discredit us in the global arena."

"There are those of us who, in their weakness, say that time is not on our side. The father's of Zionism have taught us that time is on the side of those who take advantage of it," Yaalon added.