Peres optimistic about direct talks, Israeli public's doubts remain

13:39, September 01, 2010      

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Israeli President Shimon Peres said Tuesday that he hoped the upcoming direct talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington could achieve tangible results.

"It is my impression that Prime Minister Netanyahu is aware of the greatness of his mission and I think he is well prepared to meet the chance," Peres told hundreds of delegates of the World Jewish Congress Governing Board which convened in Jerusalem Tuesday.

"I send my profound blessings for this mission and its success, " Peres said.

Netanyahu is leaving for Washington "determined to represent his people to implement a widely agreed solution here, namely to have a two-state solution," he said.

Referring to a future Palestinian state, Peres said it would be a demilitarized, united and democratic country living beside Israel.

"All other solutions are dangerous," he said.

The Israeli media and general public, however, remain largely indifferent to Peres' optimism. The direct talks, which came to a halt 18 months ago, received minimal coverage in the Israeli press on Tuesday.

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