|FM Peres on possible meeting with Arafat|
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Jerusalem, August 21, 2001 Foreign Minister Peres reacted for the first time to today’s remarks by Arafat and Fischer during the press conference in Budapest with his Hungarian counterpart. Peres stated that he had met many times with Arafat, adding that Arafat’s statement today was not a surprise for him but rather a normal event.
Peres added that far more could be achieved through words than through bombs, and that Israel wishes to bring the present conflict to an end.
Peres stated that he intends to meet with Arafat in the near future, and that a date would be established following his return from Hungary and Poland, and once Arafat has returned from a visit to China. Peres also said that Israel does not believe in a military solution to the conflict, but rather in a political solution, and that it is doing its utmost to end the terrorism and achieve a return to the negotiating table. Peres added, "the solution lies in a reconciliation between the two peoples."