PM: We are making a concentrated effort in order to enable the resumption of the negotiations.
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 1 November 2009:
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s and Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s talks last night with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He also noted that, afterwards, he and the Secretary of State held a long, very good and very serious meeting at which it was agreed that [former] Senator Mitchell would remain here for another day.
The Prime Minister said: "We are making a concentrated effort in order to enable the resumption of the negotiations.
This effort did not begin now. We have been making such efforts since this Government was established. First of all, we have done things that no previous government has done: We removed hundreds of dirt roadblocks and checkpoints and took many other steps to ease restrictions on the Palestinian fabric of life and economy. The result of this has been unprecedented prosperity in the Palestinian Authority.
In my 14 June 2009 Bar-Ilan University speech, I set forth a vision of peace based on three points that unite the great majority of the nation, a vision that it is possible to go with, to advance towards a genuine solution. We also expressed a readiness to do things that are certainly unprecedented vis-a-vis our willingness to advance the diplomatic process, and the Americans know this very well. On the other side, we encounter a contrary phenomenon:
While we are taking steps to facilitate the negotiations, both their start and their progress, we unfortunately find the Palestinians setting pre-conditions, which have not been set since the start of the peace process six years ago. Today, I think that this reality is clear to everyone. It is certainly clear to the international community, especially the US government. We very much hope that the Palestinians will make the effort and enter into the diplomatic process.
The peace process is both an Israeli and a Palestinian interest. It is important. We are committed to it. Just as we are prepared to start diplomatic talks without delay, we hope that the Palestinians will have a similar position."
2. Industry Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry Director-General Sharon Kedmi on the ministry’s 2009-2010 working plan and comprehensive goals.
3. Pursuant to Article 18 of Basic Law: The President of the State, the Cabinet noted that President Shimon Peres will make a state visit to Brazil and Argentina, at the invitation of their presidents, from 9-17 November 2009.
President Peres will meet with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez, as well as with local Jewish community leaders.