Saturday, May 25, 2013

When A President is a Diplomat

President Peres keeps up his diplomacy, again:

President Peres to depart tomorrow on a special diplomatic visit to Jordan
President Shimon Peres, will depart tomorrow (Sunday, 26 May 2013), for a visit to Jordan and will represent Israel at the World Economic Forum which is taking place on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. The WEF will be attended by heads of state, senior leaders and ministers as well as business people from across the Arab world. Amongst the attendees will be the King of Jordan, President of the Palestinian Authority, US Secretary of State John Kerry and the representative of the quartet, Tony Blair. Yesterday (Friday) President Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a working meeting at the President's Residence in Jerusalem during which they discussed the central issues which will arise during the president's visit to Jordan.
The closing plenary of the conference is entitled 'Breaking the Impasse' and Secretary Kerry, President Abbas, President Peres and King Abdullah will all deliver speeches. President Peres is expected to address the major issues facing the Middle East today including the importance of returning to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Who will call him to order?


Peres' appeal for peace at Jordan conference sparks outrage

President Shimon Peres said Sunday that it was possible for Israelis and Palestinians to overcome differences and skepticism over peacemaking.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Jordan, Peres said it was time to restart serious negotiations and conclude a peace treaty that had long eluded the two sides in the conflict.

"We shouldn't lose the opportunity because it will be replaced by great disappointment," he said.

"From my experience, I believe it's possible to overcome it. It doesn't require too much time.

"Our aim is to not waste time and resume negotiations as soon as possible so we can complete the full peace process with the Palestinians on the basis of two states for two peoples living side by side as neighbors, with full economic cooperation, for the sake of future generations."

Earlier in the day, it was reported in the Israeli media that Peres, who was scheduled to address the forum on Sunday evening, was planning to say that most of the Israeli public supports a return to 1967 borders, with fair, mutually agreeable border alterations.

...Before Peres even made the speech, his expected remarks drew angry responses from Israeli officials. Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz voiced harsh criticism Sunday, saying that "I wasn't aware that Peres purports to be the government's spokesman. I believe that the government already has its own spokespeople," Steinitz said.

"The president is very highly respected in Israel, but diplomatic decisions should be left up to the government and I think that every remark, certainly on the eve of resumption of this type of negotiation, does not contribute to Israel's position."


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