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United Nations »
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem October 9, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Lior Mizrahi/Pool
Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:27pm EDT
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton Monday that he was willing to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in an effort to restart peace talks, his office said.
Netanyahu told Ashton in a telephone conversation that he was "happy to meet Mahmoud Abbas at any time," the statement from his office said.
Ashton Sunday announced plans to invite Israeli and Palestinian representatives to meet "in the coming days" to discuss resuming peace negotiations, frozen for the past year.
An Israeli government spokesman declined to comment when asked if Israel had received a formal invitation from Ashton.
Abbas has said Israel must halt all settlement building in the occupied West Bank before Palestinians will restart talks. Israel has made clear it is not ready to do that.
Last month, Abbas formally asked the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in a 1967 war.
Abbas's U.N. bid is opposed by Israel and the United States who say only a negotiated peace deal can end the Middle East conflict and create a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Spokesmen for Abbas were not immediately available for comment.
(Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Netanyahu’s government has been playing this dangerous game ever since it has been in office. It has no intention of genuinely negotiating the establishment of a Palestinian state, at any time now or in the future. Instead, it continues with illegal settlements in violation of UN resolutions and world opinion.
The charter of the Likud Party, of which Netanyahu is leader, expressly denies any Palestinian state in the West Bank and insists that the entire region belongs to Israel.
That being the illegitimate position of Netanyahu and his government, the time has finally come for its expulsion from the United Nations and the withdrawal of its trading rights with the European Union.
Without these bilateral trading concessions, Netanyahu’s government would be forced to respect the will of the UN in order to rescue its economy which is entirely dependent on the EU bilateral trade and US aid. Currently, Israel makes a mockery of international law and the Geneva Convention on human rights. That is a threat to world peace and should continue no longer. The international community should act now.
Oct 10, 2011 10:25pm EDT -- Report as abuse
Netanyahu be shame to the world about your fake promises.. you have been promising since 20years to give peace to philistine. instead you have given them nightmare, torture, death, suffering.. it is very clear to the world that you and your puppet “USA” dont need peace rather problem. “i hate you”
Oct 10, 2011 12:35am EDT -- Report as abuse
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