US State Dept.: Israel agrees peace is necessity

Spokesperson says at "all levels" Israel believes it needs peace with Palestinians; enthusiastic about Arab League peace plan.

May 4, 2013 07:19
1 minute read.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni [file]

Kerry and Livni 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Israel agrees that peace with the Palestinians is necessary, US State Department Spokesman Patrick Ventrell said at a press briefing on Friday.

The press briefing discussed the meeting held on Thursday between Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

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“What the Israeli side has been very clear about is that – and they’ve publicly affirmed this at all levels, [is] that Israel needs to have peace with the Palestinians,” Ventrell said after being asked whether Livni expressed her point of view on last week’s amended Arab peace initiative.

Kerry and Livni met in Washington and discussed the peace process with the Palestinians and regional developments, particularly Syria.

On Monday, Arab states appeared to soften their 2002 peace plan when a top Qatari official said Israel and the Palestinians could trade land rather than conform exactly to the pre-1967 lines.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al- Thani, Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister, made the comment after he and a group of Arab officials met with Kerry to discuss how to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Ventrell said on Friday the State Department was enthusiastic about the benefits that the Arab peace initiative could bring to Israel.

“In the context of a final settlement, Israel having – being at peace with all the members of the Arab League would be a very positive development,” he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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