Monday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called to immediately resume of peace talks with Palestinians. Netanyahu pledged more steps to improve economic conditions in Palestinian areas.
Netanyahu reiterated to an assembly of Jewish groups his view that peace negotiations should begin with no preconditions. He made no new proposals on constraining Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Palestinian officials insist that Israel freeze settlement activity before peace talks resume.
"I believe there is no time to waste; we need to move toward peace with a sense of urgency and with a sense of purpose," he said in a speech to the Jewish Federations of North America. "I want to make this clear: My goal is not to have endless negotiations. My goal is not negotiations for the sake of negotiations. My goal is to achieve a permanent peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians."
He also said Israel is willing to make "great concessions for peace," without sacrificing its security. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called for an immediate resumption of peace talks with Palestinians and pledged more steps to improve economic conditions in Palestinian areas, The Associated Press reports.
Critics of Netanyahu in the Arab world have blamed him for not being sincere in his desire to reach a peace agreement which would include Israeli concessions.
Netanyahu has repeatedly stressed that he's willing to start talking, and the Israelis have been pointing to the Palestinians as setting the precondition of a total settlement freeze as holding up progress.
"But to get to a peace agreement we need to start negotiating," he said to a receptive crowd. "Let's get on with it. Let's move."
He delivered a personal message to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, urging him, "Let us begin talks immediately ... let us seize the opportunity to reach a historic agreement," Jerusalem Post reports.
While in Washington, Netanyahu will likely focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran’s nuclear program, and a United Nations report that said Israel may have committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip.
He will also meet with members of Congress, Obama administration officials and leaders of Jewish organizations as well as address the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities, an umbrella group for North American Jewish organizations.
Netanyahu will stop in Paris on his way back from the U.S. and meet Nov. 11 with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the prime minister’s office announced yesterday, Bloomberg reports.