(Communicated by the Office of the President)
President Shimon Peres, this afternoon (Wednesday, 7 May 2014), at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, held a diplomatic working meeting with US National Security Advisor Susan Rice. They discussed the major issues on the agenda today including the diplomatic situation between Israel and the Palestinians, the Iranian negotiations and the strategic relations between Israel and the US.
US National Security Advisor Rice thanked President Peres and said, "I wanted to say thank you for all your friendship to me personally and to President Obama who I know values it enormously and for your support and affection for the United States. We are honored to have the opportunity to be here again."
President Peres began by warmly welcoming his guest and said, "I want to thank you and President Obama for standing steadfastly by our side. I consider him a true friend of our people and our country." Addressing the current state of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Palestinians as well as the unity agreement President Peres said, ""Everyone agreed there is a need for a pause but that is not a cause to stop. We must find a way to restart the negotiations between us and the Palestinians. My estimate is that Abu Mazen wants to achieve peace; I don't think he changed on the basic issues, namely the two state solution and opposition to terror. He is someone that we can negotiate with. What is necessary is international pressure on Hamas to accept the basic conditions laid down by the Quartet. The world is united on those conditions and I believe that Hamas must be given no choice if they want to be helped, no-one should pay for their missiles and tunnels."
President Peres also addressed the P5+1 negotiations and said, "I believe the sanctions are useful, the leadership in Iran isn't being fully honest but they wouldn't say what they're saying without sanctions. President Obama give a period of time and we are coming to the critical moment when we will discover if they are just offering words or are really serious about change. The world will judge upon actions not words."