PM to Piñera: Palestinians making excuses to avoid talks

Chilean president tells Netanyahu during visit to J'lem that Palestinians have right to have their own free, democratic state just as Israel does.

March 6, 2011 11:39
2 minute read.
PM with Chilean Pres. Pinera

PM with Chilean Pres. Pinera 311. (photo credit: Marc Sellem)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday met with Chilean President Sebastian Piñera in Jerusalem to discuss developments in peace talks with the Palestinians.

Responding to Piñera's call on Netanyahu "not to miss the opportunity for peace," Netanyahu told reporters "we are prepared to sit down and negotiate peace. And the Palestinians have found a variety of excuses not to do so."

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Abbas calls for full Palestinian membership in the UN

"Whereas Israel and I have been willing to move on this road, I've not seen the parallel willingness to do the same [by the Palestinians]. Because they're relying on a Pavlovian reflex of the international community," the prime minister said. "Basically they say, we don't have to negotiate, we can sit back, we can teach our children to idolize mass killers – they named a public square in Ramallah ten minutes from here, for a terrorist who murdered 400 innocent Israelis. They can do that and get away with it."

Speaking on Chile's recognition of a Palestinian state, Piñera told Netanyahu: "As we always thought Israel has the right to exist with borders recognized by the international community, so the Palestinians have the right to have their own free and democratic state."

Chile is one of a number of South American countries that have recognized a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines.

Netanyahu also urged Piñera to work with Israel in exerting pressure on Iran, which the prime minister said would be "immune to all pressures of democratization; will continue to butcher its people...and will continue to propel instability to the rest of the world."

The prime minister thanked the Chilean president for participating with international community to stop Iran's nuclear program.

Piñera responded that "we share our vision that the peace-loving countries of the world should not allow Iran to become a nuclear power, because that will be a big problem and danger and threat not only for the Middle East, but for the whole world."

Piñera also met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas over the weekend.

During the meeting, Abbas said the time has come for Palestine to become a permanent member of the United Nations, reiterating his opposition to the idea of a state with temporary borders.

He expressed hope that a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines would be declared by September and blamed Israel for the current stalemate in the peace process.

Abbas also called on members of the Quartet to take measures that would “force Israel to end its aggression and occupation of our lands.”

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