Barak: Netanyahu is serious about peace:
During the week of May 25: one from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee led by Senator Casey, the other from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs led by Congressman Ackerman met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who conveyed points on the Peace Process:
"Barak began his meeting with the Casey delegation by apologizing for being late due to what he described as an "internal debate" at the Prime Minister's office regarding the development of a response to President Obama's upcoming speech in Cairo. He noted there are "perceived gaps" between the USG and the GOI regarding the Peace Process, and explained the GOI's internal debate is focused primarily on how to ensure that the U.S. and Israel "trust each other." Barak expressed confidence that PM Netanyahu is sincere in wanting to "seize this opportunity and move forward" with the Palestinians, but alluded to members of the coalition who do not agree with this course of action.
"From his perspective, Barak told the Casey delegation that the GOI was in no position to dictate policy to the Palestinians or the USG regarding the Peace Process -- "it takes two to tango, and three to negotiate," he said. Barak noted that it is the GOI's responsibility to ensure that "no stone is left unturned" regarding the Peace Process; if efforts to achieve peace ultimately fail, then the GOI must be able to state that every effort was pursued. He said he personally had no objection to "two states for two nations," and panned Arab arguments for a bi-national state in Israel. Barak said Israel envisions "two peoples living side by side in peace and good neighborliness" as the final goal.
"With the Ackerman delegation, Barak focused on the need for a regional approach to the peace process. He supports a regional initiative for peace and cooperation for the entire Middle East region to be launched by Israel. He stressed as well the need to build trust and convince the U.S. administration that the new Israeli government is "serious in its efforts toward peace."
US says Netanyahu is not reliable:
Israel's prime minister Binjamin Netanyahu is "elegant and charming" but never keeps his promises, according to a cable from Cairo recounting a meeting with President Hosni Mubarak, who added: "I have told him so personally".