Netanyahu tells al-Arabiya he wants peace

July 20, 2011 at 7:53 AM
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JERUSALEM, July 20 (UPI) -- Binyamin Netanyahu questions why there still is no Mideast peace even though he and five previous Israeli prime ministers agreed to a Palestinian state.

In his first pan-Arab interview to the Dubai-based al-Arabiya network, Netanyahu Wednesday suggested the blame lies with Palestinian leaders.

Speaking about his vision for peace in the Middle East from his Jerusalem office, Netanyahu said he is willing to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah or Jerusalem to discuss peace, and declared "six Israeli prime ministers, myself included, have been negotiating, and we all agreed to a Palestinian state. So why didn't we have peace?"

All the issues, including Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees, are up for discussion, Netanyahu said.

"Everything is on the table. But we need to get to the table and this is my point. The main point that I'm saying is we haven't concluded peace. Either because the Palestinian leadership did not want to get to the end, maybe they had reasons they didn't want to get to the end of negotiations. In my case and my frustration in the past two years, we can't restart negotiations. … I'm prepared to negotiate with President Abbas for peace between our two people right now. We can do it here in my home in Jerusalem. We can do it in Ramallah. We can do it anywhere."

Officials in the prime minister's office told The Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu's decision to do the interview was to get his message out to the Arab world. Why al-Arabiya? An official said the network "has more of a tradition of straight news, less incitement."

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