Palestine and Israel clash on peace deal
DAVOS / RAMALLAH
Israeli President Peres (R) talks with Palestinian PM Fayyad in Davos meetings. AP photoIsrael’s president said Jan. 26 he hopes a peace deal with the Palestinians will happen soon, but the Palestinian prime minister said it’s hard to be hopeful about prospects for peace at this stage.
Shimon Peres and Salam Fayyad shared the stage at the World Economic Forum and responded to questions from founder Klaus Schwab. Peres said he’s convinced there will be peace based on a two-state solution and called for agreements soon between Israel and the Palestinians that will enable direct negotiations to resume. Once negotiations resume, “maybe peace will come sooner than we think. ... We are nearer than most of us are thinking.” But Fayyad said: “I do not think the conditions are actually ripe or right for the meaningful resumption of political process.”
Meanwhile, a Palestinian official said U.S. President Barack Obama is urging the Palestinians to continue talks with Israel. “President Barack Obama, through meetings with Arab and foreign officials, sent us messages to the effect that we should not let the year pass without progress in the negotiations,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Apart from the peace talks, a UNESCO official said only Turkey and Qatar have made reasonable donations to the urgent aid fund established to solve the financial problem faced following Palestine’s membership of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). After UNESCO granted full membership to the Palestinians on October, the US cancelled funding for the cultural body. Irina Bokova, general director of UNESCO, thanked Turkey for the $5 million it transferred to the urgent aid fund.
Compiled from AFP, AP and AA stories by the Daily News staff.