Shimon Peres, Israel’s nonagenarian former president and forever elder statesman, told a gathering of Middle Eastern leaders in Jordan on Friday that “a clear majority of Israelis favor a two-state solution” to the conflict with the Palestinians.
In a news conference during which he fielded questions from dozens of journalists from the Arab world, Peres said that “arriving at a diplomatic resolution is possible, necessary, and urgent.”
Peres was at the Dead Sea confab which attracted numerous statesmen and leaders from across the region, including the host, King Abdullah of Jordan, and Egyptian President Abdel Fatteh al-Sisi.
“I believe that peace talks could resume and we must do this as quickly as possible,” the former president said. “What is clear is that nobody can freeze the situation as is, and the status quo is not an option.”
Peres said it was premature to write off the two-state solution as the basis for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
“There were times when it seemed that peace with Jordan and Egypt were a pipe dream,” the former president said. “It is by virtue of the peace treaties with those countries that we live alongside our neighbors and overcome the complex challenges of the Middle East.”