Peres slammed by Likud over comments about Abbas


The Israeli President Shimon Peres was criticized by the Likud party Sunday after he said Palestinian President Abbas was a partner in peace.



Israel's Likud party slammed President Shimon Peres Sunday after he criticized the party for not finding a partner in peace in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Likud released a statement saying that it is "regrettable that the president chooses to express a political opinion that is detached from the Israeli public's position regarding Abbas, who refuses to make peace," reported the Jerusalem Post.

Peres' comments came earlier Sunday to 160 diplomats in Israel during an annual speech.

He said that he disagreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu's approach, which claims that there is no partner on the other side of the table.

Peres said that he is the only leader in the Arab world with whom Israel can conclude an agreement.

He praised Abbas' stance on terrorism, which he acknowledged risked even his own personal safety.

The president told the ambassadors that Israelis are interested in peace but are increasingly of the belief that it is no longer attainable.

He asked the foreign representatives to put themselves in the shoes of Abbas who has forfeited the right to return even to the place of his birth.

"I've known him for 30 years," said Peres, according to Haaretz.

"No one will change my opinion about Abu Mazen, even if they say I cannot express it because I'm the president."

Likud did not spare words for the Israel President over the incident.

"It is a shame the president did not explain to the foreign diplomats how his comments on Abbas reconcile with the fact [Abbas] did not even condemn the firing of rockets on Israeli citizens," the statement said, reported the Jerusalem Post.