Israeli leader sees Bulgaria as good host of talks with Palestinians

08:37, August 12, 2010      

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Israeli President Shimon Peres said Wednesday that Bulgaria would be a good place to host his country's peace talks with the Palestinians.

"There is no better place for such meetings," Peres said without elaborating at a press conference with his Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov.

Israel's immediate priority is to reach peace with the Palestinians, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said, while calling for an early start to direct negotiations with the Palestinians.

For his part, Parvanov said that Peres' visit to Bulgaria, together with one by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last month, showed that Sofia is a friend of both Israel and the Palestinians.

During his one-day stay, Peres was awarded Bulgaria's highest civilian honor, the Order of Stara Planina, for his peace efforts and contributions to Bulgaria-Israel relations.

Israel and the Palestinians, now engaged in U.S.-mediated indirect talks, are under mounting international pressure to resume direct negotiations, an indispensable step to settle their decades-old feud and realize peaceful coexistance.

Palestinian negotiators, however, have so far refused to sit at the same table with their Isreali counterparts because the Jewish state still defies a Palestinian demand that it completely freeze settlement construction.

Source: Xinhua


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