Israeli President Shimon Peres says that Israel and the Palestinians were “running out of time” and that there is an “urgent” need for a peace agreement between them.
“It is very urgent,” Mr. Peres said in an interview with CNN. “I think neither side has much time. We have to act dynamically.”
The Palestinians have warned that if the peace process does not resume they would unilaterally declare an independent state and will ask the United Nations to recognize it.
But Mr. Peres warned that the Palestinians would be making a “mistake” if they declare an independent state.
“If you go for a declaration, you have a declaration. You won’t have a change in the situation. It’s not enough to declare, you have to agree,” he said.
The 87-year old Israeli president added that he believes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is “trying to arrive at peace.”
He reiterated his support for a two-state solution, saying the failure to reach a deal on that basis threatens the Jewish character of the state of Israel.
“If there will be one state without a clear majority or an un-Jewish majority, that is against everything we are trying to work for,” he said.
(Mustapha Ajbaili, a senior editor at Al Arabiya English, can be reached at Mustapha.firstname.lastname@example.org)