Sunday, June 7, 2009

Netanyahu to unveil peace policy

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday that he would deliver a major address on his foreign policy next week, in the wake of U.S. pressure over the peace process with the Palestinians and President Barack Obama's address to the Muslim world last week.
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"Next week I will deliver a major diplomatic speech in which I will present to Israel's citizens our principles for achieving peace and security," said Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting.
"Ahead of the address, I will be happy to hear the opinions of my coalition partners and of other figures in the Israeli public."
Obama has made repeated calls for Israel to halt West Bank settlement construction, and last week declared he would personally pursue a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a concept Netanyahu has so far refrained from publicly supporting.
"Over recent days I have read and heard different quotes that were attributed to me - but that I did not say," Netanyahu added.
"I wish to clarify that we want to achieve peace with the Palestinians and with the Arab world while attempting to reach optimal understanding with the U.S. and the international community."
Netanyahu has drawn fire in Israel over his failure to back a two-state solution; his comments on Sunday came shortly after opposition leader Tzipi Livni warned that this may cause the United States to withdraw its support for Israel.
At Sunday's meeting, Netanyahu declared: "My aspiration is to reach a stable peace that rests upon the foundation of security for the State of Israel and its citizens."

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