Veteran Israeli politician Shimon Peres has spoken of the importance of resuming direct negotiations with the Palestinians. However, said Israel's President, the negotiations should go "underground" and take place "quietly".
In a ceremony to welcome a number of new ambassadors to the Zionist state Mr. Peres said that the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government have to return to direct talks. He stressed his appreciation of the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as a "peace partner". Peres added his disapproval of the internationalisation of the negotiations. "If negotiations are done publicly," he said, "it becomes an ongoing press conference".