News / Middle East

Israeli PM Calls For Direct Talks With Palestinians Without Delay

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday he is willing to take political risks, but not security ones, to work out a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Speaking in New York City, Mr. Netanyahu said direct talks should begin between the two sides without delay.

Repeatedly driving home the point that he is ready to take steps to make peace with the Palestinians, Mr.Netanyahu said he did not come back a second time as Israel's prime minister to do nothing.

"You come back to do something," said  Benjamin Netanyahu. "I'm prepared to do something. I'm prepared to take risks. I won't take risks with our security, but I'm willing to take political risks. So does President Mahmoud Abbas. He must be prepared to take these risks. And I know President Obama is ready to assist us in this."

Mr. Netanyahu met with President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday. The Israeli leader said then he would like to see direct talks start between the two sides within the next few weeks.On Thursday, he reiterated that desire to the audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

"We should just stop all the delays, stop all the preconditions, stop all the pretexts, and start now," said Mr. Netanyahu. "Next week. In two weeks. Get the talks going. Because only if we start them can we complete them."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was in Ethiopia on Wednesday, where he said he was hoping for positive news from the Israeli side.

"All the time we reiterated our position that we are ready to go for direct talks if we receive any signals from the Israeli side on two issues: the borders and the security," said President Abbas. "We presented our proposals to both the Americans and the Israelis and we are waiting for the Israeli impression and the reaction."

Another main sticking point to resuming direct talks has been the issue of Israeli settlements. Last year, Mr. Netanyahu declared a temporary suspension of new building in the West Bank. On Thursday he appeared to say he would not extend that moratorium.

"I actually did this temporary freeze as an inducement to enter the talks," he said. "Now seven months into this ten-month moratorium, the Palestinians have not yet come in, but they already argue that you have to extend that gesture. I think the right thing to do is just get into the talks; this is how we will resolve this issue of settlements."

Outside the Council on Foreign Relations about 200 demonstrators gathered from both the pro-and anti-Netanyahu camp.

One group held up signs welcoming the Israeli leader to New York. On the other side of the street, the opposition, many of them identifying themselves as American Jews, said they were angry about Israel's policies toward the Palestinians and did not think Mr. Netanyahu would follow through on his promises for peace.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs