Peres praises ‘opening’ for peace

President discusses Netanyahu and Obama's meeting with young leaders.

July 7, 2010 14:14
1 minute read.
President Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres 311. (photo credit: AP)

The meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday was not just a good meeting but was also an opening for the renewal of peace talks, President Shimon Peres told 37 young Jewish leaders from 24 countries who are innovators and agents for change.

In welcoming them to Beit Hanassi on Wednesday for a Q&A session, Peres said that he appreciated the way in which Netanyahu had put Israel’s case, and the way in which Obama related to Israel’s position.

Peres later told journalists that the friendly atmosphere of the meeting and its outcome also conveyed a significant political message about Israel-US relations. He was convinced that the peace process would resume as a result and that all partners would work very hard to translate the talks into a dynamic policy.

When talking with the young leaders, Peres fielded questions about Obama, Iran, Israel’s image in the world media, and relations with Turkey, France and India.

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When an official traveling with the group tried to bring the session to an end after three questions, Peres objected and asked who made the decision to conclude the meeting. He then took several more questions and would have happily spent the morning exchanging views but for the fact that both he and they had other commitments.

When David Fine, who has worked with former Florida congressman Robert Wexler (who may be the next US ambassador to Israel), asked Peres to share his impression of Obama, Peres described Obama as “an unbelievable success story compared to other presidents” and declared that he had no doubt that Obama’s commitment to Israel was “serious, honest and dependable.”

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