Israeli PM says ready to make "historic peace" with Palestinians

10:26, September 06, 2010      

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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (3rd R) attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem September 5, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he is willing to reach an historic compromise with the Palestinians, "so long as it maintains the national interests of the State of Israel with security first and foremost."

Speaking at the weekly political-security cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, in which he debriefed his ministers on the direct peace talks held in Washington, Netanyahu said that Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) would have to jointly devise new and original solutions for thorny issues between the sides.

The Israeli premier said he believed that there is a "sense of readiness in the Arab world that this is the time to try and complete a peace settlement."

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Israeli Army Radio on Friday that the final-status issues up for discussion include Jerusalem, borders, refugees, settlements, water and security.

The report also claimed that Abbas had presented Netanyahu with points agreed on two years ago with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and that the two leaders agreed in principle on security issues and borders.

Israeli officials declined to comment on whether Netanyahu did discuss points approved by his predecessor and other questions, and said that the U.S. administration has demanded that no information regarding the talks is leaked to the press.

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