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Peres: 'Make Peace Or Else'

Shimon Peres urges Israel to take Kerry's framework deal in meeting with Romanian President, warns of 'tragic consequences' of failure.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 1/20/2014, 5:39 PM

Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
Flash 90

President Shimon Peres met with visiting Romanian President Traian Basescu on Monday, and used the opportunity to argue for the importance of making a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority (PA) - and to threaten disastrous outcomes if a deal is not reached.

US Secretary of State John Kerry apparently intends to present a framework deal by the end of January; however, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday there's no progress on the peace talks and blamed Israel for it. He has previously formally refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Nevertheless, Peres claimed "it is crucial that these negotiations will be completed successful," adding that "a failure to do so would be tragic for the Middle East. The situation in the Middle East can flare up overnight if the talks fail."

The threat of violence if Israel refused to Kerry's demands for concessions, which include massive territorial withdrawals from Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley and the division and international management of Jerusalem, in return for recognition of Israel's Jewish identity, has been employed before.

Last November, Kerry threatened Israel with an intifada if peace talks failed, and indeed his self-fulfilling prophecy bore fruit even the same day amid a wave of terror attacks.

Peres reportedly fumed 2 weeks ago about a proposed bill to annex the Jordan Valley in opposition to Kerry's proposals.

During a meeting with Peres following the funeral of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, US Vice President Joe Biden echoed the Israeli President's stance, urging Israel and the PA to "seize the moment" to make "peace."