Netanyahu ready to accept Quartet plan

Netanyahu ready to accept Quartet plan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday he is ready to accept a Quartet plan that foresees a peace deal with the Palestinians by the end of 2012.

By (AFP)

Published: Sun 25 Sep 2011, 12:29 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:43 AM

‘If the Quartet calls for the resumption of direct negotiations without preconditions, I think it’s an important thing,’ Netanyahu said in an interview with Channel 10 from the United States.

Asked about the chances of reaching a deal by the end of next year, he remained cautious.

‘If there is a willingness to conclude (the peace deal), it will succeed, because it is promising (but) if the will does not exist, it will not work,’ said the Israeli premier.

Netanyahu said his government’s official position on the Quartet’s proposal would be announced in the coming days.

‘We need to study the proposal; I will consult my advisers and the cabinet,’ he said.

‘I hope the Palestinians will understand in the end it is not possible to do away with the negotiations, they cannot obtain a state and continue the conflict.’

Netanyahu said Israel’s security was a priority for him.

‘We will not make the same mistake as in Gaza which became an Iranian base,’ he said, referring to the seizure of power in the Palestinian territory by the Islamist group Hamas.

The peacemaking Quartet, comprised of the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia, proposed a new timetable for talks in a statement shortly after the Palestinians submitted their bid for UN membership on Friday.

Talks between the two sides have been on hold for nearly a year, grinding to a halt shortly after they were relaunched in Washington over the issue of settlement construction.

Israel refused to renew a part freeze on settlement building that expired shortly after the talks started, and the Palestinians say they will not hold any talks while Israel builds on land they want for a state.

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