Mofaz invites Abbas to talk peace ‘immediately’

At Kadima convention, deputy PM extends an olive branch to the PA president, discusses Iran, Syria

Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)
Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)

On the heels of Thursday’s report that Palestinian Authority negotiators had expressed interest in high-level meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition partners, among them Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, the Kadima party chairman invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to begin talks without delay.

“Put aside the dispatches, put aside the letters, enough chatter and preconditions – come and talk peace! Come now,” urged Mofaz. “The Palestinians must know that our hand is extended to peace with those who are willing and able to decide. We will not have a better opportunity than this one.”

At a high-profile Kadima party policy gathering held Thursday, Mofaz spoke in support of the two-state solution, warning that there was “no greater threat to the Jewish people than a bi-national state between the Jordan river and the sea.”

Earlier this week, an unnamed Palestinian source had told the PA mouthpiece Al-Ayyam that Mofaz and Abbas would likely meet in Amman, Jordan, next week to discuss ways of renewing the peace negotiations, which have been stalled since September 2010.

In May, Mofaz and his Kadima party joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, raising hopes that the government, free from coalition pressures, would be able to restart talks with the Palestinians.

At Thursday’s conference, Mofaz also expressed his concern at the incessant bloodshed in Syria, calling the Assad regime’s policy against dissenters “nothing less than war crimes and crimes against humanity.” He added that urgent measures were required to combat the Iranian issue as well, saying that the “world powers, led by the US, the EU and other Western countries, still don’t understand that it’s time for action.”

Calling the nuclear arms race a “global issue,” Mofaz said the “moment of truth” for mitigating both the Syrian and Iranian threats was coming ever closer, possibly requiring international intervention. “NATO’s intervention in Libya,” he said, “should not remain an isolated incident.”

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