Israel entering new talks with integrity and sincerity, Netanyahu tells Cabinet

Israel is entering into peace talks with integrity and sincerity, and hopes that they will be conducted discreetly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

”These will not be easy negotiations, but we will enter into them with integrity, sincerity and the hope that this process will be conducted responsibly, seriously and substantively, and, I must say, at least in the opening stages, discreetly. This will increase the chances that we will achieve results,” Netanyahu said Sunday at the opening of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

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Netanyahu said that Israel is committed in equal measure to peace and security.  He also committed to putting the results of the peace talks to a referendum.

He said his goals in making peace with the Palestinians are: “preventing the creation of a bi-national state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, alongside preventing the establishment of another Iranian-sponsored terrorist state.”

Also Sunday, President Shimon Peres spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and congratulated Abbas on his decision to reenter peace negotiations.

“You took a brave and historic decision to return to negotiations – don’t listen to the skeptics, you did the right thing,” Peres told Abbas on Sunday, according to his office. “We will do all we can to solve the conflict and to live together in peace. We want to see both nations going down the right path.”

Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel’s chief talks negotiator, and her Palestinian counterpart Saeb Erekat are expected to meet this week in Washington, in order to set a timetable for the negotiations, which could begin a week later.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the restarting of negotiations on Friday, during his sixth trip to the region in four months to bring about their resumption.

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