Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Wednesday that he is "hopeful" that peace talks with the Palestinians will lead to a two-state solution and bring prosperity to the Middle East.He told journalists in Lithuania that the "clear purpose" of the negotiations is to have "a Jewish state by the name of Israel and an Arab state by the name of Palestine living together in friendship and cooperation." Lithuania holds the rotating presidency of the EU at present.
"As an Israeli I am now very hopeful because the peace process was renewed between the Palestinians and ourselves," said Peres, speaking after the start of talks in Washington on Monday and Tuesday put an end to a three-year hiatus.
"There is no alternative to peace, there is no sense in going to war," added the nonagenarian as he explained that terrorism doesn't have a message. "Terrorism cannot bake bread and cannot offer fresh air to breathe. It's costly, it's useless, and it doesn't produce anything."
Under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed on Tuesday to aim for a peace deal within nine months. Peres said that the deal would be crucial to improving living standards in the Middle East, noting that, "The Middle East may change if terror and crisis and hunger and unemployment and oppression will make way for a new age of economics and social affairs." He pointed out that Israel wants to make peace "with all Arab countries, not just the Palestinians".