x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Netanyahu: peace a common goal

Benjamin Netanyahu vows to continue peace talks with the Palestinians when he takes office.

Benjamin Netanyahu leaves after speaking at a conference in Jerusalem today.
Benjamin Netanyahu leaves after speaking at a conference in Jerusalem today.

Israel's hawkish prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue peace talks with the Palestinians when he takes office. "Peace is not the last goal. It is a common and enduring goal for all Israelis and Israeli governments, mine included. "This means I will negotiate with the Palestinian Authority for peace," he told a Jerusalem conference. "I think that the Palestinians should understand that they have in our government a partner for peace, for security, for the rapid development of the Palestinian economy."

Netanyahu spoke the day after the centre-left Labor party voted to join his right-leaning cabinet that he hopes will head off any tension with main ally Washington, which has vowed to vigorously pursue the peace process. The Likud party leader, who previously held the post of prime minister in 1996-1999, opposes the creation of a Palestinian state, saying economic conditions in the occupied West Bank must first be improved.

*AFP