Shimon Peres with John Kerry 370.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
President Shimon Peres on Wednesday urged US Secretary of State John Kerry not to allow anything to interrupt his mission for peace.
Kerry met with Peres following his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Peres told Kerry that he had the deepest respect and appreciation for Kerry's "unmatched energy and devotion" in his bid to resolve "such a complicated situation" which keeps changing all the time, necessitating that Kerry should move faster than the situation. Peres acknowledged that it was not simple because everyone involved has "to take cautious decisions" but with all the complications he was convinced that "none of us have a better alternative to peace."
Commending Kerry not only for his unflagging dedication in the face of difficulties, Peres said: "I can't remember such a combination of wisdom and energy."
Relating to the two most constantly discussed issues by the Israeli leadership, Peres said: "Our greatest danger is Iran. Our greatest hope is peace."
Unless Tehran changes its policy, he said, "the Iranians should know that the situation is dangerous for them too. The Palestinians know that there is no real alternative for them as there is no alternative for us."
Peres reiterated that the two-state solution is the only viable solution for peace.
Pledging that he would do all that he could to support Kerry in his mission, Peres said: "You are running the show with the expectations of the world."
Kerry responded that Peres is not only a good friend but a mentor and an inspiration. He had also found inspiration the previous day he said when he stood at the site of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination
. He had been inspired because Rabin had fought for peace so many years ago, he said, "and the least we can do is follow his example. This is not a mission impossible. It can happen."
In order for it to happen, Kerry continued, it will require both leaders to make big, historic decisions, "but it is in the interests of both their countries."
With regard to Iran, Kerry said he hoped that Iran will understand "that it's a simple obligation to show the world you are pursuing a peaceful program."