Peres warms to Saudi proposal


Shimon Peres said the Saudi initiative for a comprehensive Israeli-Arab peace has merits.

Israel’s vice premier said Thursday that while in principle he welcomes the Saudi initiative, which was first broached in 2002 and is being discussed at this week’s Arab League summit in Riyadh, he discerns a take-it-or-leave-it approach on the part of its sponsors.

“I would say this: Let’s hold negotiations. You come with your positions, and we will come with ours. I don’t think we need to predetermine what we accept or don’t accept. Each side should come with their own positions and negotiate from there,” Peres told Israel Radio.

The Saudi initiative calls for Israel to withdraw from all territory captured in the 1967 Six Day War and accept a “just and agreed-upon” solution to the Palestinian refugee problem, in exchange for peace with the Arab world. Israel has voiced reservations over some of the terms.

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