Last updated: 27 November, 2013

Israel’s Peres: Mideast peace urgent but possible

Israeli President Shimon Peres said Wednesday that peace with the Palestinians was urgent and possible amid faltering negotiations between the two sides.

Peres, speaking during a visit to Mexico City, said he welcomed the new round of talks, revived in July with the aim of reaching an agreement within nine months.

“We weren’t born to be enemies, we weren’t born to rule other people, we weren’t born to take land form anybody else; we were born with the call for peace,” he said after talks with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

“We agreed that the answer to the conflict should be based on the two-state solution, two states for two peoples. Peace is urgent, I believe, but possible as well.”

The peace talks, which resumed after intense diplomacy from US Secretary of State John Kerry, have faltered amid Israeli plans to build new settlements.

The construction plans prompted Palestinian negotiators to offer their resignations in November, but president Mahmud Abbas has yet to accept them.

Peres’s trip to Mexico focuses on trade and the president, who traveled here with an 80-strong business delegation, signed education, culture, science and trade deals with Pena Nieto.

The Israeli president was due to later meet Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim, the world’s second richest man.

Peres leaves Mexico on Sunday after attending an international book fair in the western city of Guadalajara, where Israel is this year’s guest of honor.