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Israel's Shimon Peres says he could meet Rouhani

Dec. 8, 2013 at 8:32 AM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Israeli President Shimon Peres said Sunday he would have no problem meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Iran and Israel are not enemies, Peres said.

"I have no enemies. We do not see Iran as an enemy. 'Enemies' are not a personal matter; they are a matter of policy. There were days we did not want to meet with [the late Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat, but when he changed his policy we said, 'Why not?' We are for peace, and I believe that in the end the objective is to turn enemies into friends," Peres said at the Globes Israel Business Conference in Tel Aviv. At the same time, Peres stressed, the world must prevent Iran from achieving nuclear arms, Israel Radio reported.

Referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Peres said he believes it is possible to achieve a peace agreement within the allotted nine-month period. He said, however, that Jerusalem must receive necessary security guarantees in any peace agreement with the Palestinians.

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