Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu received the support of Italian Prime
Minister Silvio Berlusconi in opposing a Palestinian bid for statehood
in the United Nations this September, the two said in a joint press
conference in Italy.
Making peace, the Italian prime minister
said, "requires joint initiative, and consequently requires
negotiations." It would be appropriate, he added, "for the Palestinian
government to recognize the State of Israel, to acknowledge previous
agreements and to undertake the project of rejecting violence."
Of unilateral recognition, he added, "I don't think that this in any way would be able to contribute to peace."
Netanyahu thanked Berlusconi for his consistent opposition to attempts at bypassing peace negotiations.
Peace, he said, "will only come from negotiations. It cannot be imposed by one side, and not by one-sided UN resolutions."
told the press conference, "If someone really wants to be with us in
peace, and not to erase us from the land, we'll sit together."
declaration of statehood by the Palestinians would violate agreements
between the Palestinians and Israel, he added, explaining that it would
also harden the Palestinian positions. "If the UN adopts the Palestinian
positions, why would they negotiate? If [that happens], it could
actually push peace back.
"Anybody interested in advancing peace," the prime minister said, will oppose a UN declaration.