President Peres hosts foreign diplomats for New Year reception
Regional danger has never been greater while at the same time peace is so
attainable I call upon Abbas, for whom I have great respect: Let's start
(Communicated by the Media Adviser to President Peres)
Ambassadors from more than 60 countries including Jordan and Egypt were
represented at the reception for members of the foreign Diplomatic Corps
President Shimon Peres hosted a New Year's reception for members of the
foreign Diplomatic Corps posted in Israel. Ambassadors from more than 60
countries including Jordan and Egypt were represented at the reception for
members of the foreign diplomatic corps.
The President greeted the Ambassadors for the New Year and during his
address spoke about the peace process and the recent events at the United
Nations. He stressed that the regional danger has never been greater while
at the same time peace is so attainable. The President reiterated his recent
calls for Abbas to return to the negotiating table.
He said: "I call upon Abbas, the President of the Palestinians, for whom I
have much respect and sympathy, and I must say here and now that I think the
present leadership of the Palestinians is the best we could have, and say:
Let's start. Let's start in two ways, openly and quietly. We have to do
these two things in a parallel manner. Let's not waste time. We are in an
unfinished and undecided situation in the Middle East."
The President added that framework and timeline provided by the Quartet to
start and advance the negotiations is important and can lead to peace.
The President also used the opportunity to sharply criticize the United
Nations and said he felt deeply ashamed that Ahmadinejad is invited to the
United Nations. "For an Israeli to see him on the stage of the United
Nations is revolting. It is actually the antithesis of the United Nations.
He calls for the destruction of Israel, he threatens to use his strength, he
denies the Shoah (Holocaust), and he acts against the basic aims and
philosophies of having a world organization that is trying to overcome
conflicts and introduce a new tone. He is a dangerous man and still heading
terror activities here, supplying weapons to Hamas and Hizbullah."