The Internet is buzzing with the news that President Shimon Peres addressed a
Gulf Security conference in Abu Dhabi last month attended by 29 foreign
ministers of Arab and Muslim states.
Details of the event are scarce,
since the journalists who were permitted to attend the conference were told it
was off the record.
Even Tom Friedman, who broke the story in The New
York Times on November 19, provided minimal information, other to say that Peres
was interviewed by UN Under-secretary-General Terje Roed-Larsen, who was sitting
on stage in Abu Dhabi while Peres sat in Jerusalem.
Ayelet Frish, the
president’s spokeswoman, refused to comment on the address, other than to say it
was arranged on conditions of strict secrecy, with neither the president’s
office nor the organizers of the conference allowed to divulge the content of
the conversation between Peres and Larsen – who have been friends since the days
of the secret talks that led to the Oslo Accord.
One of the few known
facts is that Peres never directly addressed any of the assembled foreign
ministers, but spoke only to Larsen, though everyone in attendance was privy to