Israel says ready to forgo land for genuine peace

April 18th, 2008 - 12:33 am ICT by admin  

Warsaw, April 17 (DPA) Israeli President Shimon Peres said Thursday in Warsaw that his country was prepared to compromise on territorial issues in the search for a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict. “We are ready to forgo land in order to reach a genuine peace with the Palestinians and grant them the possibility to found their own state,” Peres told the Polish parliament at the end of his four-day visit to the central European country.

This Palestinian neighbour state should “flourish economically, strive for peace and live in freedom,” he said.

Peres Tuesday attended ceremonies commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazi occupiers.

Israel returned to Egypt “all territories, all the water and oil” in exchange for peace, the Israel president told Poland’s parliament, referring to Israel’s return in 1982 of the Sinai peninsula, which the Jewish state won in battle in the 1973 Middle East war.

Peres pointed to Europe as an example of how “thousands of years of war” could be successfully ended and said that Israelis, like Europe, had to seek to overcome the conflicts of the past.

Peres also praised the positive changes in Polish attitudes towards Israel, recognizing in this regard former Polish president Lech Walesa as well as the current President Lech Kaczynski.

The new Poland is among Israel’s best friends in Europe.

In his address, Israel’s president reminded his audience that Jews since the 11th century had settled in Poland, which by the 17th century was one of the largest centres of Jewish life in Europe.

Before the Second World War, almost 3.5 million Jews lived in Central Europe.

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