Mon, Oct 04, 2010 | Prime Minister’s Office
Netanyahu: Continuing the Peace Talks Is Vital For Israel
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting that continuing the peace talks with the Palestinians is a vital interest for the State of Israel. Thus indicating that he will move to extend a building freeze in the West Bank by two months to keep alive direct peace talks with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.
Netanyahu remarks on Monday:
The Government is prepared for the great missions of the coming session – passing a budget and continuing to ensure security and advance peace. Our Government is committed to all of these challenges, to lead Israel to prosperity, security and peace.
In the two primary fields, security and the economy, we have had important achievements. We have led the Israeli economy to emerge from the global recession quicker than most – nearly all – western countries. We implemented a policy of aggressive response to missiles fired at us and to other attacks against our territory. The list is long; I will not detail it here.
One month ago, the Palestinians entered into direct talks with us, following a series of gestures that the Government carried out in order to advance the peace process. We have fully lived up to our commitment, a difficult commitment that we took upon ourselves.
Now there is interest in continuing the peace negotiations. This is a vital interest for the State of Israel. We are in the midst of sensitive diplomatic contacts with the US administration in order to find a solution that will allow the continuation of the talks. Now is not the time for issuing statements.
We have no interest in causing an uproar. Neither do I have the possibility of denying the baseless media report. But I do have an interest in responding calmly and responsibly in order to advance the diplomatic process.
We will quietly consider the situation and the complex reality away from the spotlights. I propose that everyone be patient, act responsibly, calmly and – above all – quietly. This is exactly what we must do.
Netanyahu must now convince a very sceptical security cabinet to back a U.S. proposal of political and security guarantees in order to extend the settlement freeze.
The aid package is believed to included access to new advanced weaponry and US consent to have Israeli troops remain stationed along the Jordan Valley in a future Palestinian state.