Peretz supports Saudi peace plan

Defense Minister: Stability of current gov't is in Israel's national interest.

peretz fence tough 298.8 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
peretz fence tough 298.8
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
"The stability of [the current government] is in the national interest of Israel," Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday evening. Speaking at the Globes Israel Conference for Business, Peretz also expressed support for the Saudi Initiative. "[The] Saudi peace initiative should be considered a possible base for a diplomatic process," the defense minister said. In defending his own position, Peretz expressed hope that Israelis would recognize how much of an asset he and the government were to the country. "[The government] is a strategic asset. It is wonderful," Peretz said. "I [also] hope that soon is the day that people will realize what an asset it is to have a socially-aware defense minister." The Saudi plan, adopted at the Arab Summit in Beirut in March 2002, called on Arab states to 'normalize relations' with Israel in return for the establishment of a Palestinian state following an Israeli withdrawal to the Green Line and a just solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN Resolution 194. This resolution called on Israel to allow the return of Palestinian refugees and compensate those who don't want to do so.