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netanyahu in knesset 248.88.(Photo by: GPO [file])
PM-designate: I'll continue peace talks
SHARON WROBEL and HERB KEINON
03/25/2009
Netanyahu says peace "enduring goal;" comes after Obama says peace will be harder with new gov't.
A day after bringing the Labor Party into his coalition, Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he will "negotiate with the Palestinian Authority for peace." The "Palestinians should understand that they have in our government a partner for peace, prosperity and rapid economic development," Netanyahu said, speaking at the STEP Jerusalem Wealth Management Conference. Security, prosperity and peace were all intertwined, he said. Peace is a "common and enduring goal for all Israelis and Israeli governments," he continued. "An Israeli-Palestinian economic relationship is a strong foundation for peace," he said. "The economic track is not a substitute for political negotiations - it is complimentary." Netanyahu said that he came to the conclusion, after meeting with Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair last week, that Israel could lift some bureaucratic obstacles in the West Bank without compromising security. Blair is trying to develop Palestinian economic and security capacity in the West Bank. While not saying he believed in a two-state solution, Netanyahu repeated his position that his concept of "economic peace" would not replace diplomatic negotiations, but would run in parallel with them.
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