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Peres: peace is without a voice

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  • Josh Pollack
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29, 2001
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      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
      Reference:
      Israel's Peres Reportedly Says Agreement Reached on Need for
      Cease-fire
      <javascript:open_doc('/doc_lib/2001/004/29/GMP20010429000107N.html')>
      GMP20010429000107
      [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
      agreement?

      [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
      negotiations.

      [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
      start.

      [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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