"We want peace sincerely. There are Palestinians who doubt our support for the two state solution. I would recommend to them to take our commitment very seriously."
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
President Peres met this afternoon with United States Special Envoy for the Middle East Former Senator George Mitchell. The two discussed how to renew the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. President Peres stated at the start of the meeting that "To tell a simple truth to all of us, there is no sense to remain on the waiting list because the plane can take off. I think it is a waste of time for the Arabs and for us and you coming [serves as] a green light to go back to basic business."
President Peres added that "a strong America, and that a leading America, is not only a vital interest of the United States, it is a vital interest for the state of Israel, and to the defense of Israel. We cannot imagine a world without the American leadership. For the last 62 years since our establishment we have had the great privilege of enjoying an onward support and understanding of the very unique situation Israel is in. We are happy t oalso see the achievements of President Obama internally and externally… His achievements have an impact upon the rest of the world… [They provide] stability, more hope, more leadership."
The President said on the Palestinian issue that "We want peace sincerely. There are Palestinians who doubt our support for the two state solution. I would recommend to them to take it very seriously. We [proved our intent] when we made peace with the Egyptians and the Jordanians. It is not that one gives a favor to the other. The two of us need it. We need the Palestinian state not only because we don’t want to govern another nation, but also because we don’t want to see the conflict eating up our future. There is no other solution."
On a personal note the President told Special Envoy Mitchell, "I think your mission is of vital interest to us. We [would like to] march to meaning and success. [You answer] the historical call. Nobody is gaining or winning anything by remaining in the waiting list. We have to move ahead, and it is the time to do so."
Special Envoy Mitchell replied by reading President Obama’s statement for Israel’s Independence Day: "President Obama said: ‘We continue to share a strong, unbreakable bond of friendship between our two nations, anchored by the United States’ enduring commitment to Israel’s security. Israel remains our important partner and key strategic ally in the Middle East, and I am confident that our special relationship will only be strengthened in the months and years to come. I look forward to continuing our efforts with Israel to achieve comprehensive peace and security in the region, including a two-state solution, and to working together to counter the forces that threaten Israel, the United States, and the world. On this day, we once again honor the extraordinary achievements of the people of Israel, and their deep and abiding friendship with the American people. I offer my best wishes to President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the people of Israel as they celebrate this happy occasion.’"
Special Envoy Mitchell added that "That statement by President Obama, has been American policy, it is American policy, and it will remain American policy. With your help and guidance and wise council, Mr. President, we look forward to transforming these aspirations, as expressed by the President, into the concrete achievement of comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Thank you for your friendship and your willingness to speak with me today."
President Peres responded, "I want also to thank the President for this very moving, clear, and profound message. We heard it when it was published and I am very glad that you repeated it… it makes very clear the foundations on which all of us are working."