Peretz: Saudi plan could be basis for negotiations

October 31, 2006 18:17


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Defense Minister Amir Peretz on Tuesday said a dormant Saudi initiative for Mideast peace could be a "basis for negotiations." Peretz, speaking at an academic conference at Tel Aviv University, said he was not endorsing the plan. Nonetheless, he was the most senior Israeli official even to consider it. The Saudi plan called for a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Arab world. "We could see the Saudi initiative as the basis for negotiation, this does not mean that were are adopting the Saudi initiative, but it can serve as a basis," Peretz said. Peretz also said that Hizbullah was busy improving its technical capabilities and smuggling in weapons from Iran and Syria. "Supervision [over Hizbullah] needs to be stepped up," Peretz said. The defense minister also reiterated his statements last week that Israel had no intention of getting "bogged down" in the Gaza Strip, and added that the IDF was addressing the problem of Palestinian terror.

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