Friday, November 21, 2008

Israeli President: Obama Gives Peace A Chance

In an interview today with The Times of London, Israeli President - and former Prime Minister - Shimon Peres says that the election of Barack Obama brings a "chance" of diplomatic dialogue between the Jewish state and its arch-enemy Iran. Peres believes that moving Iran away from its implacable hostility to Israel is critical to eventually securing an overall settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Although the office of Israeli President is largely ceremonial, Mr. Peres is one of Israel's most senior statesmen and is widely respected across the country's broad ideological spectrum. His views on foreign policy issues in particular carry a lot of weight in Israel and around the world. Mr. Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.

Peres indicated that he believes the President-elect can bring the vehemently anti-Israeli government of Iranian mullahs to the negotiating table provided that Mr. Obama can garner sufficient support from the broader international community. A key factor in getting Iran into productive and meaningful talks about the future of the Middle East, according to Peres, will the "new politial climate" created by Barack Obama's election to the US Presidency. Economic issues, particularly the falling price of oil, will also provide more incentive for Iran to get serious about assuming a more responsible role in international relations. 

"If there will be a united policy on Iran and there is a new [lower] price for oil then Iran will have to come to terms with a proportionate reality of our times," said President Peres.

From your lips to God's ears, Mr. President!

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