Peretz meets with Moroccan king in Fez

Labor chair hopes to open communication between Israel and the Arab world.

peretz, muhammed 298 (photo credit: Courtesy)
peretz, muhammed 298
(photo credit: Courtesy)
SHEERA CLAIRE FRENKEL Labor Party Chairman Amir Peretz will be returning Sunday from a meeting with Morocco's King Muhammed VI aimed at initiating diplomatic talks with moderate voices in the Arab world. Peretz presented King Muhammed with a diplomatic initiative to improve dialogue in the Arab world, in a private meeting in the royal palace in Fez Friday. Representatives for Peretz would not give details of the plan. King Muhammed extended the invitation to the Moroccan-born Peretz, to open channels of communication that had been cut off by the Hamas victory in the Palestinian Legislative elections. "We may be facing an uncompromising war with Hamas and other terrorist organizations, but not with the Arab world," said Peretz, adding that in the current political climate, Morocco could play a crucial role in advancing dialogue. King Muhammed called Peretz' overture a "brave step." In November, President Moshe Katsav issued a public invitation to King Muhammad to come to Israel on an official visit and to help sow the seeds of peace in the region. Katsav, who is aware of the extraordinary measures taken by the Moroccan king to safeguard his Jewish subjects, applauded him for his strong stand against anti- Semitism and expressed the hope that diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel would be renewed in the near future.