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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem October 24, 2010. Netanyahu urged the Palestinians on Sunday not to take unilateral steps towards statehood, saying Israel was working closely with Washington on ways to restart peace talks. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Sebastian Scheiner/Pool )

October 24, 2010 (KATAKAMI / PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE) — Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the Cabinet meeting today:

“We are holding intensive contacts with the American administration in order to restart the diplomatic process.  Our goal is not just to resume the process, but to advance it in such a way that it cannot be halted in a few weeks or months, and will enter into approximately one year of continuous negotiations on the fundamental problems, in order to try and reach a framework agreement ahead of a peace settlement.

In these negotiations, we will – of course – uphold the vital interests of the State of Israel, with security first and foremost.  We expect the Palestinians to honor their commitment to hold direct negotiations.  I think that any attempt to bypass them by appealing to international bodies is unrealistic and will not give any impetus to a genuine diplomatic process.

Peace will only be achieved through direct negotiations and I hope that we will fully return to this track soon.”

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