JERUSALEM, April 15 (UPI) -- Marking the 65th anniversary of Israeli independence, President Shimon Peres renewed calls for peace negotiations with Palestinians.
Peres, who signed the 1993 Oslo accords -- regarded by many Israeli politicians as a misguided attempt at peace -- said the two sides must find a way to resolve their differences peacefully and said it must be Israel that makes the first move.
"We can and should bring an end to the conflict -- and we have to be the initiators," he told The Jerusalem Post in a wide-ranging interview Monday. "Playing hard to get may be a romantic proposition, but it's not a good political plan."
Peres, then the Israeli foreign minister, was the driving force behind another ill-fated attempt at peace, when he and Jordanian King Abdullah negotiated a two-state solution in private in 1987 and asked the United States to introduce the idea so both sides could have an appropriate distance. It went down in flames when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir wouldn't go along with the terms.