yaalon great 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Saturday rejected claims that Palestinian plans to go to the UN for a unilateral statehood declaration constitute a "diplomatic tsunami" for Israel, saying "we must not be afraid of the September scare tactics." The Likud minister made the comments during an interview with Channel 2.
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Ya'alon said that Israel was taking diplomatic action to stop the UN Security Council from unilaterally recognizing a Palestinian State in September. He pointed out his own recent trip to Moscow to advance Israel's diplomatic interests and the efforts of President Shimon Peres, who warned South American leaders about the harm of a unilateral statehood while on his current trip to Italy.
Ya'alon said that a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in the UN General Assembly would not lead to Israel's isolation or have any concrete effect on the country. He added that Israel was prepared for a Palestinian outbreak of violence as well.
The Likud minister said the government would discuss French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe's proposed peace conference in Paris in the coming days.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday cautiously welcomed
a French proposal to convene Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in
Paris to try to renew collapsed peace talks. Juppe this week offered to host talks
discuss ideas for a Palestinian state raised last month by US President
Barack Obama, aiming to avert a showdown at the United Nations in
"We said that in principle this initiative is acceptable," Abbas told Reuters, two days after his talks with Juppe in Ramallah.
Abbas said the French plan "talks about President Obama's vision ...in
which he spoke about a [Palestinian] state with the '67 borders with
Israel, Egypt and Jordan."
Under the plan discussed with Juppe, "neither side would carry out unilateral actions," Abbas added.
Ya'alon said that there were "paradigm differences between the two
sides." He stated that while Abbas had expressed willingness to go to
Paris, the PA president had not agreed to begin negotiations with
"We are ready to go to the table. We have been waiting for Abu Mazen [Abbas] for two years," Ya'alon told Channel 2.
Juppe said he is "slightly optimistic" after his Mideast visit.
"I would be lying if I said I was very optimistic. I am slightly optimistic," Juppe said after his talks with Netanyahu.
The French proposal calls for Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to
meet this month or by early July with an eye to reviving talks which
broke off last year in a dispute on Jewish settlement building in land
Palestinians seek for a state.Reuters contributed to this report