Israeli minister wants progress in peace talks

Nov. 26, 2013 at 6:48 AM
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JERUSALEM, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Progress in peace negotiations with the Palestinians will ensure a united Arab front against Iran, Israel's justice minister said.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said it is no coincidence the six months for the p5-plus-1 countries to negotiate a permanent deal with Iran on its nuclear program, is the same period left for the nine-month framework U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry allotted for talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Livni made the statements during a peace conference at the Knesset on Monday, The Jerusalem Post said.

A peace deal with the Palestinians will lead to a united Arab front against Iran, Livni said.

"Continuing serious peace talks can allow the Arab world to put its conflict with Israel aside to cooperate on Iran," Livni said. "Solving the conflict with the Palestinians would enable a united front with Arab countries against Iran."

"I suggest that we stop whining because of what was signed in Geneva and use the six months to make sure Iran doesn't fool the world into enabling a final-status deal that would be dangerous for Israel," Livni said. "[This will allow us] to reach a significant breakthrough on two states for two peoples that will be good for Israel."

In Geneva Sunday, Britain, France, Russia, China, the United States (the five permanent members of the U.S. Security Council -- the P5) and Germany signed an interim agreement with Iran to halt its nuclear program.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed Livni to head Israel's negotiating team in peace talks with the Palestinians. The Israeli team consists of Livni and Netanyahu aide Yitzhak Molcho.

The Palestinian negotiating team of Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Shtayyeh recently tendered their resignations, but agreed to continue representing the Palestinian Authority in peace talks with Israel until President Mahmoud Abbas appoints others to take their place.

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