Friday, October 13, 2006

Peres answers questions on TV

Turi sends this: Excerpt from an interview with Israeli Vice-Premier Shimon Peres by Boaz Shapira, recorded at Peres's office on 10 October, broadcast by Israel TV on 10 October

[Presenter Ya'aqov Ahimeir] Following Bashar al-Asad's repeated declarations of his desire to achieve a peace agreement with Israel, Shimon Peres tonight called on Al-Asad to come to Jerusalem. Al-Asad's most recent such statement was made in a BBC interview last night.

Peres's remarks caused a discord between him and the prime minister's bureau, where sources said: Peres is inviting Syria to Jerusalem on his behalf only. The invitation is not on our behalf. Boaz Shapira reports:

[Shapira] Shimon Peres is opening a door to let Syria President Al-Asad in: If you want peace, come to Jerusalem, he says.

[Peres] Why shouldn't Al-Asad do what others did? Al-Sadat came here. If Al-Asad said he was coming to the Knesset, do you think he wouldn't be allowed to come? All he should do is say: I want to speak about peace directly with Israel. That's all.

[Shapira] After Al-Asad again spoke yesterday about peace with Israel, Jerusalem political sources reiterated their warning: Al-Asad is Iran's friend, [Hamas leader] Khalid Mish'al's host, and all his peace declarations are designed to rescue him from isolation and international pressure applied because of his responsibility for Lebanese Prime Minister Al-Hariri's assassination.

Al-Asad says the Israeli government is weak because of its dependence on the United States, and the United States does not want peace. [Passage omitted]

[Peres] Well, if Israel is not strong enough, why is he going on about it? He again wants us to clear a path to the United States for him. If he thinks we are not strong enough, why waste time?

[Al-Asad recording from BBC interview in English] The conditions to achieve peace are the international conditions. So, this is very simple in order not to make it complicated.

[Peres] There is no such thing, there are no international conditions anywhere. And international conditions need to be interpreted too, to put it mildly. [Passage omitted]

[Shapira] Peres says Israel will not miss an opportunity to make peace and promises that Israel will be able to tell whether neighbouring Syria's intentions are sincere.

[Peres] If he says: I want a meeting, I am sure Israel will say: Very well, let us meet and talk.

[Shapira] Do you mean a meeting is the way to do it?

[Peres] Certainly. Didn't he say it takes two to tango?

[Ahimeir] The price of peace with Syria is well known; both Netanyahu and Baraq tried it, Mr Olmert said tonight. He added that we should think very, very carefully whether we want to reach negotiations at all, because we know what they will demand, what the price will be. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made these remarks at a Kadima activists' gathering in his sukkah in Jerusalem a short time ago.

Israel TV Channel 1, Jerusalem, in Hebrew 1900 gmt 10 Oct 06

1 comment:

William said...

After every Mid East war there is a chance for peace. The Israel-Lebanon war is no exception. But it is always a small window of opportunity at best - and the window won't stay open forever.