Middle East
Peres offers interim borders plan
Israeli president says a Palestinian state should exist with provisional borders.
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2009 14:36 GMT

Solana, R, is on a three-day visit to Israel and the occupied territories of Palestine [EPA]

Shimon Peres has said that Israel and the Palestinians should agree on a Palestinian state with temporary borders as a first step towards ending the Middle East conflict.

"The roadmap outlines a clear path and (the sides) should  implement the second stage ... declaring a Palestinian state with temporary borders," the Israeli president was quoted as telling Javier Solana, the visiting European Union foreign policy chief, on Thursday.

Israel and the Palestinians should further make "a clear commitment that the borders will become permanent within a limited period." Peres told Solana, who is on a three-day visit to Israel and the occupied territories of Palestine.

The proposal was flatly rejected by the Palestinian Authority.

"We categorically reject Peres's proposal which takes us back to square one," Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said.

Solana told Al Jazeera that it is still visible to have peace between Arabs and Israel based on pre 1967 border line.

"I think it is visible and doable. I think we have to keep working together --the EU, the United States and a group of Arab countries-- in the same wave length to really move it on and do it a reality of those promises of the past."

No endorsement

The roadmap drafted in 2003 by the US, the EU, Russia and the UN, outlines steps toward establishing a viable Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel.

Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, has refused to publicly endorse a two-state solution or to halt settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, two key requirements of the roadmap.

Netanyahu is due to outline his government's policies on the peace process at a speech on Sunday in a bid to ease tensions with Israel's chief ally, the United States.

Mark Regev, Netanyahu's spokesman, declined to comment on Peres's offer.

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