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Peres secretly delivers speech to Arab and Islamic leaders

Israeli President Shimon Peres addressed a conference held in Abu-Dhabi about two weeks ago that was attended by 29 Arab and Islamic foreign ministers, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Monday.

The newspaper described the speech as "historic", pointing out that ministers of Arab countries that have no relations with Israel, such as Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait etc., all listened to Peres and saluted him.

Peres spoke from his office in Jerusalem via video conference. He was sitting in front of Israel's flag and was introduced to the attendees as the president of the State of Israel.

Contrary to what was expected, the newspaper reported that none of the conference attendees left the hall when Peres started speaking. In fact, it said that the leaders applauded Peres.

According to the newspaper, UN Undersecretary Larry Larson and US special envoy to the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations Martin Indick arranged for the speech to take place.

New York Times contributor Thomas Friedman, who attended the conference, finally revealed the details about the speech, which had remained secret for about two weeks.

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