'Peace talks will resume on basis of Quartet proposal'

Defense Minister Barak says Israel will welcome Palestinian state if the Palestinian Authority displays "total accountability."

Barak speech serious 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool )
Barak speech serious 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool )
Peace talks will soon resume on the basis of the Quartet's proposals, Defense Minister Ehud Barak predicted in an interview with Israel Radio on Thursday.
Stating that the proposals are just aimed at bringing the Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table, Barak explained that "The Quartet peeled away the preconditions [to talks]."
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Israel will be able to approach Palestinian statehood with more optimism if it sees the Palestinians are willing to talk about all of the issues associated with a two-state solution, including that of Jerusalem, and display "total accountability," Barak said.
The defense minister asserted that Palestinian statehood, under the right conditions, is in Israel's interests and should not be perceived as a threat.
Barak also addressed recent mass social protests, saying that "The Trajtenberg Committee's recommendations were pointing in the right direction," but the committee did not do all it could to solve Israel's socioeconomic issues.
"There's no way to answer the protesters' demands without expanding the budget," he explained, referring to the committee's decision to keep the current state budget.
Concerning Israel's relationship with Turkey, the defense minister connected it to Turkey and Iran's current state of tension and disagreement.
"My enemy's enemy is my friend, and we need to repair relations with Turkey."
Barak concluded the interview, given on the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, by saying that Israel is capable of avoiding another surprise military attack but must make sure to never allow "political blindness" to reign again.