Peres: peace is without a voice
- Source-Date: 04/29/2001
Israel's Peres on Cease-Fire Proposal, Cairo Talks
GMP20010429000136 Jerusalem Israel Television Channel 1 in Hebrew 1630 GMT
29 Apr 01
Israel's Peres Reportedly Says Agreement Reached on Need for
[Interview with Israeli Foreign Minister Shim'on Peres by Qeren Neubach at
Cairo airport before flying to Jordan on 29 April -- recorded]
[FBIS Translated Text]
[Neubach] Foreign Minister Shim'on Peres, could you report to President
Mubarak this morning that on the basis of your talks with the Palestinians
in recent weeks, Israel and the Palestinians are closer to a cease-fire
[Peres] I could report on two things: First, that Israel decided
unilaterally to implement a series of measures to ease the situation in the
territories. That was very important to the Egyptians to hear. We are doing
it unconditionally and without receiving anything in return. Second, there
is a start to developing an understanding on the basic approach, which to us
is first and foremost to cease the fire, and only afterward to start the
[Neubach] Is that an understanding you are starting to hear from the
Palestinian side in your talks with them?
[Peres] I believe so, but we have to say that with caution. Until things are
not completed and signed everything is fluid. I don't want to describe it as
something firm, but that position is now supported by President Bush and
some of the Europeans, is starting to be understood by the Palestinians, and
is beginning to be accepted by the Egyptians. In that I see the beginning of
the possibility of emerging from the political deadlock.
[Neubach] The Palestinians talk about the resumption of the negotiations
after four weeks of a cease-fire. What is the Israeli position?
[Peres] It is not as you described it. We say time is needed for a
cease-fire and a halt to violence so that this agreement will not be a paper
agreement, but a real agreement. After four weeks, the negotiations will
[Neubach] That is what the Palestinians propose.
[Peres] Yes. We say, we say four weeks or more.
[Neubach] You spoke with Yasir Arafat 10 days ago and he promised you to
halt the mortar shelling. In the past few days, there is mortar fire again.
Did you speak with him again? What does he say about that?
[Peres] I have no explanation. We spoke yesterday indirectly, I did not
speak with him directly. He said he is angry over that and he will take all
the measures he can to stop it.
[Neubach] When you land in Egypt, as Israel's foreign minister, what awaits
you in a newspaper, although an opposition paper, is a picture of you in a
Nazi officer's uniform. How does the foreign minister of Israel feal when he
is received like that in Egypt?
[Peres] Very badly, but not because it is me in the picture, because it is a
picture of a sick situation in the Egyptian press. I also told them that
sometimes words can do as much harm as bullets, and that if the incitement
is not halted, the situation will be very grave. I recalled what President
al-Sadat said, that 90% of the problems in the Middle East are
psychological, and psychology is at rock bottom at present. Today peace is
in a tongueless condition. We must return to a dialogue. I believe that
despite all the disputes and difficulties, the tone today was much more
reserved and even positive.
[Description of Source: Jerusalem Israel Television Channel 1 in Hebrew --
State-funded television; independent in content]
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