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Friday, April 27, 2012

Israeli President Shimon Peres to foreign diplomats: Peace worth the price

At reception marking Israel’s 64th anniversary, president says gaps between Jewish state and Palestinians surmountable

Signing a peace agreement with the Palestinians would give Israel more time focus on building a better future for its children, President Shimon Peres told foreign diplomats who gathered at his official residence in Jerusalem on Thursday to mark the Jewish state’s 64th Independence Day.

Peres said achieving peace would not be easy, as both sides must be convinced that it would be worth the price. However, he added, the gaps between Israel and the Palestinians, as he sees them, are very small.

The president said Israel must continue to initiate steps that promote peace.

During the reception, the president also addressed the so-called Arab Spring. He said he hoped regional changes would be accompanied by the least amount of bloodshed possible.

As for the ongoing violence in Syria, Peres told the diplomats that Israel views massacres carried out anywhere in the world as unacceptable.