Israeli President Shimon Peres at a conference held on the shores of the Dead Sea on May 26, 2013
Israeli President Shimon Peres speaks to the press on the final day of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa on the shores of the Dead Sea, 55 kms southeast of the Jordanian capital Amman, on May 26, 2013. Peres said on Sunday that time should not be wasted in the search for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, calling it "a real possibility". © - AFP
Israeli President Shimon Peres at a conference held on the shores of the Dead Sea on May 26, 2013
AFP
Last updated: May 26, 2013

Israeli-Palestinian peace "a real possibility," says Peres

President Shimon Peres said on Sunday that time should not be wasted in the search for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, calling it "a real possibility".

"Two points are urgent: we shouldn't lose the opportunity because it will he replaced by great disappointment," Peres told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the banks of the Dead Sea in Jordan.

"We have to come over scepticism and doubts. Second, I feel it is a real possibility," he said, speaking in English.

He said the two sides already have a "functioning" solution.

"As far as the Palestinians are concerned we have a functioning beginning and an agreed solution. The solution is the two-state solution -- living in peace and dignity," Peres said.

"I am aware of the missing links residing between the two ends. From my experience I believe it is possible to overcome them, it doesn't require too much time. It is the real interest of all parties concerned."

Peres said time should not be wasted.

"This is an important opportunity to reiterate our will, not to waste time and to return to negotiations and complete the peace process with the Palestinians based on two states for two peoples -- an Israeli state and a Palestinian state living as good neighbours and cooperating economically for the good of future generations," he said.

His remarks came a day after Palestinian president told the WEF that peace between Israelis and Palestinians is "still possible".

Abbas called on Israel to "end the occupation of our lands", evacuate settlements and free Palestinian prisoners.

"This is what will make peace and ensure security for you and for us," he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take "hard decisions" to restart talks, at the end of his fourth visit to the region since he took office in February.

The WEF closing session on Sunday will be addressed by Kerry, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Peres and Abbas, the Israeli president's office said in a statement.

"We are exerting all possible efforts to help Kerry succeed. No one will enjoy success more than the Palestinians and no one will suffer from a loss more than them," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told reporters.

"Israel needs to honour its commitments. We have never felt supported by the international community the way we feel now. Anyone who seeks peace, stability and prosperity in the region should realise that this could be done through ending the Israeli occupation."

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