Monday, December 8, 2008

Israel confirms secret talks with Arabs

Israel's ambassador to the UN confirms reports that Israeli and Arab officials held secret talks during a November UN interfaith conference.

Press TV

"Gabriela Shalev said that she took part in some of the secret meetings held between Israeli president Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni with some Arab leaders during the two-day conference in the General Assembly.

The official however refused to identify any of the Arabs, citing the sensitivity of the talks.

"The whole idea was to start some kind of a dialogue with the moderate Arab countries, and the UN is really the right place _ not to do negotiations themselves, but all states are represented,'' APTN quoted Shalev as saying.

Saudi Arabia initiated the special high-level UN General Assembly meeting on dialogue between different religions which was held in November in the US.

Earlier, a Saudi official speaking on condition of anonymity announced that King Abdullah and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal held secret meetings with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni during the meeting.

During the secret meeting the Saudi and Israeli officials discussed cooperation to initiate a new peace plan between Arab states and Israel........"

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