Netanyahu says 'partner' needed for peace with Palestinians

Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:56 AM
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JERUSALEM, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has bemoaned the lack of a peace deal with the Palestinians, saying "the other side is also needed."

In spontaneous comments before the Israeli Parliament, the prime minister defended himself against charges by members of the Knesset that he was to blame for the failure, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

"I've been told, "It is all up to you, because you promised peace.' But we also need a partner," he said.

"I am not under the illusion that this will be easy," he added. "I am determined to do my best to succeed. But this is not just dependent on the Israeli side, just as it was not only up to the five prime ministers who preceded me since the start of the Oslo process."

"The other side is also needed," Netanyahu said.

Since taking office in March 2009, Netanyahu has called several times for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but Abbas has not responded.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have been meeting since July in hopes of reaching a final status agreement.

He cautioned that even if an agreement were reached with the Palestinians, it would not bring peace to the region because of ongoing political hostilities with Iran.

"Until these threats are dealt with, there certainly cannot be peace," he said.

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