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Israel's Peres says Abbas serious about peace

Israeli President Shimon Peres on Monday hailed remarks by Mahmud Abbas on the Palestinian refugee issue, which he said showed the Palestinian president's "seriousness about reaching peace." "I was happy to hear him," Peres's office quoted him as saying at the start of a meeting with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala. At a rare meeting with 250 Israeli students at his West Bank headquarters on Sunday, Abbas said he did not intend "to flood Israel" with returning Palestinian refugees.

Prime Minister Harper holds meeting with Israeli president Shimon Peres

JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Stephen Harper has received a warm welcome from Shimon Peres at the Israeli president’s office as he continues his tour of Israel. Harper stepped out of a motorcade and was greeted by Peres at the end of a red carpet in a courtyard amid several towering cedar trees. After entering the building, Harper sat in an elegant vestibule and penned a lengthy message in a guestbook. In his welcoming remarks, Peres said Harper is visiting during a challenging time, adding that "Syria is broken, Iran is broken."

Israel's Peres says world must keep pressuring Iran

Israel on Thursday urged China and other world powers to keep up pressure on Iran as talks on implementing a landmark nuclear deal were set to resume in Geneva. "The world, in which China is a major player, should help the Iranian people to divorce themselves from the policies of threats and hostilities to prevent (Iran) from acquiring nuclear capability," Israeli President Shimon Peres said after meeting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Jerusalem.

Mideast peace 'urgent' but possible: Israel's Peres

Israeli President Shimon Peres said Wednesday that peace with the Palestinians was urgent and possible amid faltering negotiations between the two sides. Peres, speaking during a visit to Mexico City, said he welcomed the new round of talks, revived in July with the aim of reaching an agreement within nine months. "We weren't born to be enemies, we weren't born to rule other people, we weren't born to take land form anybody else; we were born with the call for peace," he said after talks with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Israel's Peres rejects Arafat poisoning theory

Israeli President Shimon Peres rejected theories that Yasser Arafat was poisoned, telling a Mexican newspaper Tuesday that any assassin would have found it easier to shoot the Palestinian leader. Swiss scientists have found that lab test results "moderately" backed the idea that Arafat died of polonium poisoning in 2004. "I don't believe it," Peres told Excelsior newspaper in an interview ahead of a visit to Mexico. "If someone had wanted to get rid of Arafat, it would have been easier to do it with a bullet."

Peres defends Israel ambiguity on nuclear programme

President Shimon Peres, considered the father of Israel's nuclear programme, on Monday sought to justify the policy of ambiguity his country has adopted concerning the issue. On Iran, Peres said newly elected President Hassan Rouhani represented a "chance", in contrast with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's insistence the moderate leader was a "wolf in sheep's clothing". "Its a chance, undecided yet," Peres, whose role is largely ceremonial, told the France 24 television network.

Israel's Peres: status quo with Palestinians cannot go on

The status quo between Israel and the Palestinians cannot go on, President Shimon Peres warned on Wednesday, in a clear call for the government to push forward fledgling peace talks. He was speaking at an official ceremony marking 18 years since prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated at a peace rally in Tel Aviv, a commemoration that was also attended by hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Peres said that the right-wing Jewish extremist who shot dead Rabin two years after the signing of the Oslo peace accords "will never be forgiven."

Israel's Peres honours Lithuanian Jews near his birthplace

Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday honoured thousands of Lithuanian Jews slaughtered in the Holocaust, during a visit to a memorial site close to his birthplace. With his Lithuanian counterpart, Peres laid wreaths at the memorial located in the outskirts of the Baltic state's capital Vilnius in tribute to the 70,000 Jews killed there during World War II. "Vilnius was considered the Jerusalem of Lithuania, where hopeful and vibrant Jewish communities built their own life by the hospitality of the Lithuanian people," Peres said at the ceremony in the Paneriai forest.

Celebrities head to Jerusalem for Peres's birthday

A slew of stars, politicians and public figures were flocking to Jerusalem to take part in Israeli President Shimon Peres's 90th birthday celebrations to be held later on Tuesday. Former US president Bill Clinton, British ex-premier Tony Blair, Monaco's Prince Albert II, and Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird are among figures who will attend the opening event of the fifth Presidential Conference, which will also be graced by the presence of Hollywood stars Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone.

U.S. right to arm Syrian rebels, says Israeli president

By Crispian Balmer JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli President Shimon Peres has thrown his weight behind U.S. plans to arm Syrian rebels, shrugging off fears the weapons could be turned on Israel and exacerbate the conflict. In a wide-ranging interview with Reuters before his 90th birthday, Peres dismissed the idea that Israel could launch a unilateral military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities and urged Palestinians and Israelis to forge immediate peace.
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