Peres: Be open to a chance for peace

Opens Knesset Winter Session by slamming Ahmadinejad; says int'l conference an opportunity.

October 8, 2007 16:48
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The US-hosted Middle East summit in Annapolis next month is "likely to be an opening for the attainment of a peace agreement," President Shimon Peres said on Monday. Addressing the opening of the winter session of the Knesset, Peres said that "even if there are some who express doubt as to the ability of the Palestinians to achieve peace," Israel must not allow the world to think that peace cannot be attained. "The impression that Israel has doubts regarding the need…to achieve peace must not be created," he said. The president said the two main enemies of world peace and progress were global terror and global warming. "These two dangers are more than strategic risks. They create a historic threat and a threat to the security of all countries and the safety of all inhabitants of the globe," he said. Peres dedicated most of his address to the Iranian nuclear threat and his interpretation of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent speeches at Columbia University and the United Nations. "The leading government in terms of nurturing terror and financing it is Iran, with Ahmadinejad at its helm," Peres said. "Ahmadinejad now calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, and he is unable to hide these intentions even with lies - just as he denies the Holocaust. He denies the suppression enforced in his country; the brutal suppression of citizens' rights, public executions - including of young people accused of homosexuality - the stoning of women, the cutting of limbs and the imprisonment of intellectuals." Peres compared Columbia University's hosting of Ahmadinejad to Former British Premier Neville Chamberlain's negotiations with Adolf Hitler. "Unfortunately, there are those who claim that negotiations should be conducted even with a tyrannical regime," he said. "Chamberlain was of this opinion when he flew to negotiate with Hitler and returned to London where he was received as a hero of peace; in doing so, he unintentionally helped Hitler cover his true intentions." The Foreign Ministry had the Peres speech translated into Farsi and published it on its Web site.

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