National

Mideast talks end with cry for help

Israeli and Palestinian representatives on Wednesday called on the international community to help them create peace in the Middle East, wrapping up a three-day confidence-building meeting on the Middle East hosted by the Foreign Ministry.

After the talks, former Israeli Finance Minister Dan Meridor, who led the country’s delegation, told a joint news conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo that he wants the international community to take part in various endeavors toward peace.

Palestinian Minister for Negotiations Affairs Saeb Erakat said the Palestinian delegation would take advantage of the latest talks “to officially call on the Israeli government to immediately and unconditionally resume negotiations.”

The delegations released a joint statement stating that a peace agreement in line with the so-called road map is “doable,” but stopped short of presenting concrete measures for peace during the meeting, which began Monday.

Moreover, the divide between the two delegations became apparent during the conference when Erakat called on Israel to pull down the 700-km barrier it is building inside the West Bank.

Erakat said coexistence will be impossible once the fences are complete.

He said Israel should abide by international law, referring to Friday’s ruling by the International Court of Justice that the barrier, of which a third is already built, violates international law and should be dismantled.

Meridor said the building of fences is “legitimate” to halt terrorist attacks by militant Palestinians.

Coronavirus banner