Peres: 'Palestinian leadership is serious, wants peace'

"We must continue dialogue with Abbas, who represents moderate forces" president says at meeting with One Voice movement.

October 25, 2011 12:02
1 minute read.
President Shimon Peres

President Peres gives New Years greeting 311 (R). (photo credit: (YouTube))

The Palestinian Authority leadership headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, is "professional, serious and wants peace," President Shimon Peres said Tuesday at a meeting with representatives of "One Voice."

"We must continue to negotiate with [Abbas], who represents moderate forces," Peres said.

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The president's comments opposed Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's statements on Monday that Abbas would do Israel a favor by quitting. According to the foreign minister, Abbas has halted the peace process.

“If there is a true stumbling block to peace, it is [Abbas],” said Lieberman in an off-camera briefing with reporters in the Foreign Ministry building.

His comments sparked outraged responses from the Palestinian Authority, who slammed Lieberman’s comments about Abbas as “barbaric".

Abbas adviser Nimer Hammad said that Lieberman was “speaking with a jungle mentality” and was a “thug.”

Hammad also expressed “regret” that Israelis had voted for someone like Lieberman.

Abbas’s Fatah faction also denounced Lieberman’s statements and warned that any harm caused to the PA president would “turn the region upside down.”

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