peres face shot298 88 ap.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday that Israel preferred to reach a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Peres and Putin spoke on the sidelines of a security summit for Asian nations in Kazakhstan.
"We want to end the occupation, which is bad for us morally, politically and demographically," Peres said. Therefore, Peres explained, there were two additional policy options for Israel: a coordinated withdrawal and a unilateral withdrawal.
Peres also briefed Putin on joint economic ventures between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians based in the Arava region and along the Dead Sea. Putin called the ventures "a brave plan," and promised he would actively work toward their realization.
Putin told Peres that Russia was committed to a strong and prosperous Israel, and briefed Peres on Russian attempts to convince Hamas to fulfill the three conditions set for it by the Quartet: the recognition of Israel, the renunciation of terror and respecting all previous agreements reached with Israel.