At a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday morning, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Israel was very interested in reopening negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. A spokesperson in the Prime Minister's office said that the discussions were “positive,” and that Israel had urged Kerry to do what he could to convince the PA to return to the negotiating table.
At the outset of the meeting, Netanyahu praised the U.S.-Israel relationship. Addressing Kerry, Netanyahu said he was “an old personal friend and a long-standing friend of Israel, and that friendship was demonstrated in President Obama’s historic visit here in March. It was demonstrated yesterday in an extraordinary resolution by the U.S. Senate to stand with Israel against Iran’s nuclear program.
“I want to commend the House Foreign Affairs Committee for upgrading the sanctions so we’ll discuss Iran; we’ll discuss the terrible carnage and instability in Syria, but above all, what we want to do is to restart the peace talks with the Palestinians. You’ve been working at it a great deal. We’ve been working at it together. It’s something I want, it’s something you want. It’s something I hope the Palestinians want as well and we ought to be successful for a simple reason. When there’s a will, we’ll find a way.”
Later Thursday, Netanyahu is set to meet with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy met earlier with President Shimon Peres.The two discussed issues concerning Israel, especially Iran and Syria, Peres' office said.
Speaking to reporters before the meeting, Peres said that he was “worried” about the outspokenness of Israeli officials on the civil war in Syria. “There are too many fires currently in the Middle East,” Peres said. “The tension on the border is high, and we must act with patience and caution, especially in declarations we make,” he added.