In the presence of u.S. Secretary of state john kerry, peres said sunday at the world economic forum on the dead sea in jordan: "we must return to the negotiating table. They are our partner and we are theirs. He personally invited abbas to return to the negotiating table. "Dear friend president abbas," said peres, "let’s sit down together. You will be surprised how much can be achieved in direct talks".
Kerry also announced a four-billion-dollar (three-billion-euro) investment program in the west bank to improve the conditions for peace talks. "Investment in the economy and in peace can move (the peace process) forward," he said. According to unconfirmed media reports, kerry will present a framework plan for the resumption of peace talks in early june.
Peres, however, has predominantly only representative tasks. The policy is determined by minister-president benjamin netanyahu and his settler-friendly government. From there came prompt criticism of peres. He could not speak for the government, said the minister for strategic issues, juval steinitz. On sunday, tourism minister uzi landau even referred to the borders demanded by the palastinians for their desired state as the "auschwitz border".
Abbas was cautious in his speech. The israelis should simply read through the arab peace initiative. Israel need only withdraw from the territories conquered in the 1967 six-day war. Then it will be recognized by all islamic states.
What was striking was that abbas did not explicitly reiterate his conditions for negotiations. It is about an israeli settlement freeze and recognition of the 1967 borders as a basis for negotiations. The palestinian chief negotiator, saeb erekat, had said shortly before that he could not imagine negotiations without a settlement freeze.
U.S. Secretary of state kerry has been working hard to resume peace talks since taking office in february. He again urged both sides to return to the negotiating table. "Israel can only live in freedom, security and prosperity if there is a sovereign palastinian state". And the palastinians can only achieve their state through negotiations," he said at the meeting in jordan.