Peace with Israel’s Arab neighbors will lead to an agreement with the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said Monday. “The Arab world softening its views toward us will help us when the time comes to reach a real and lasting agreement with our Palestinian neighbors,” Netanyahu said.
“If someone thought earlier that a breakthrough with the Palestinians would lead to improved relations with the Arab world for us, the opposite is happening and will continue to happen.” Moreover, “more and more Arab countries are realizing that Israel is not the enemy of the Arab world, but rather their partner in a joint struggle against Islamic extremists.”
Also on Monday, French envoy Pierre Vimont held talks with Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold in Jerusalem to solicit support for an international conference to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Following the meeting, the Foreign Ministry said: “The Israeli side emphasized the importance of the principle of direct negotiations. There should be bilateral talks without preconditions.” In addition, it added that the Palestinian Authority must fight against terrorism and incitement.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has launched an effort to scuttle the French initiative, a Palestinian official said. “The Americans have made it clear that they don’t want other parties meddling in the Israel-Arab conflict,” he said.