Details scarce on Peres’s address to Arab leaders

Peres addresses via live-video link Gulf security conference attended by 29 foreign ministers of Arab, Muslim countries.

December 4, 2013 02:00
President Shimon Peres speaks at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on October 24, 2013.

peres at the jpost conference 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

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.

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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 the conversation.

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