Peres: Peace Talks Are Paused - Not Finished

Despite the failure of peace talks, President Peres remains ever optimistic that they will resume.

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Elad Benari,

Peres in Oslo
Peres in Oslo
Haim Tzah, GPO

Despite the recent failure of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), President Shimon Peres said Tuesday that he hoped for a return to talks.

"The negotiations with the Palestinians, led by Secretary (of State John) Kerry, are currently paused but they are not finished," he told a press conference in Oslo, according to AFP.

"Neither side has a better alternative than peace based upon two states for two peoples. I hope that the negotiations will be re-started," he said.

Kerry re-launched the peace negotiations in July 2013, and they came to an inconclusive end on April 29.

Israel had pulled out of the talks in response to a Hamas-Fatah unity agreement, which would see the Hamas terrorist group forming a unity government with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s movement.

Peres, who engineered the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, has always remained optimistic that a peace agreement could be reached. In fact, he made similar comments to reporters on Monday, saying, "You need two to tango, but you also need appropriate music for it."

"You do not start negotiations with friends, but rather to administer moves to make friends out of your enemies," said Peres.

Last week Peres told Channel 2 News that three years ago he had reached an agreement with Abbas, with whom he had been talking at the request of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Peres also said that Netanyahu ultimately backed down from the deal.

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office later denied that what Peres said was true, saying that "Abbas never agreed to anything. Back then as well he just wanted to receive without giving anything in return.”