Netanyahu “willing to negotiate with Arab states revisions” to Arab Peace Initiative

PM makes announcement following appointment of Lieberman as Defense Minister; Netanyahu: We are willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in the region…

Prime Minister Netanyahu

Prime Minister Netanyahu announced support for reviving aspects of the Arab Peace Initiative as a means for negotiations for a two-state solution on Monday evening during a press conference following the appointment of MK Avigdor Lieberman as Defense Minister.

The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 offers Israel with diplomatic recognition from 57 Arab states in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians. The Saudi proposed Initiative was supported by the Arab League at the Beirut Summit 2002 and endorsed again in 2007 by the Arab League Summit.

Netanyahu stated on Monday evening, “I remain committed to making peace with the Palestinians and with all our neighbors. The Arab peace initiative includes positive elements that can help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians. We are willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in the region since 2002 but maintains the agreed goal of two states for two peoples.”

Netanyahu’s announcement Monday evening comes following Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s recent speech, in which Sisi offered support from Egypt for resuming negotiations with the Palestinians. The developments also fall just days ahead of the French peace initiative, in which international foreign ministers will gather in Paris for a conference centered on developing a solution for resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also announced his support for Sisi’s speech and the Arab Peace Initiative, stating following Netanyahu “President Sissi’s speech was very important; it creates a genuine opportunity that obligates us to pick up the gauntlet. I certainly agree that in the Arab Peace Initiative there are some very positive elements that will enable us to conduct serious dialogue with our neighbors in the region.”