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Israel president slams PM, former FM for their stance against Abbas

English.news.cn   2012-12-31 05:34:20            

MIDEAST-JERUSALEM-PERES-PEACE PROCESS-CRITICISM
Israeli President Shimon Peres speaks at a conference with Israeli ambassadors and heads of Israeli missions from across the world at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, Dec. 30, 2012. Peres reiterated his vision for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process Sunday. (Xinhua/Yin Dongxun)

JERUSALEM, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Israeli President Shimon Peres has slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for their stance against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

At a conference of Israeli ambassadors held here on Sunday, Peres said that Abbas is a true partner for peace.

"I've known him for thirty years, no one will change my opinion about Abu Mazen," Peres said.

Regarding Lieberman and Netanyahu's criticism against Abbas, Peres said "I know the criticism exists, and he has some for us as well."

"For an Arab leader to stand up and publicly state that he supports peace rather than terror takes a lot of courage," Peres added.

Peres reiterated an interview Abbas held with the Channel 2 news in November, in which Abbas said that is ready to embark on negotiations based on the two-state solution.

The Israeli President strongly criticized Lieberman for the state of Israel's foreign affairs with the international community.

"A diplomat is not supposed to scare the world. As a diplomat, it's always better to be a lion in sheep's skin rather than a sheep roaring like a lion, scaring the whole world. The objective of diplomacy is to create friends, not point out enemies," Peres said.

Lieberman and Netanyahu have made constant arguments of Abbas not being a real partner for a peace process and Lieberman called upon Abbas to resign as he is an "obstacle for peace" over the weekend.

On November 29, the United Nations' General Assembly approved the Palestinian Authority's bid to be accepted as a non-member observing state, the Israeli government responded by announcing the upcoming construction of more than 5000 housing units in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The move has been widely condemned by the international community calling the construction plans an obstacle for peace process based on the two-state solution.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian came to a halt in 2010 due to the growing construction in the West Bank settlements.

Editor: Chen Zhi
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