British PM says Arab states must support peace process

In supportive remarks after his talks with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in London, the British premier Gordon Brown commended Israel for dismantling West Bank roadblocks, recommended reciprocal moves by Arab states to support the peace process and said Iran’s actions do not make its claims of peaceful atomic development convincing. He deplored Iranian diatribes about Israel as having “no place in a civilized world.”
Netanyahu stressed Israel’s commitment to peace based on the formula of a demilitarized Palestine recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. He hoped it would be possible to move forward toward peace in the coming weeks. “We have already moved forward,” he stressed, having dismantled 147 checkpoints and roadblocks on the West Bank. Similar movement on the Palestinian side has not taken place. “They have to say it’s over.” He said. And that includes a final solution of the Palestinian refugee problem. “Palestinians can come to Palestine – but not to Israel which is the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
The big obstacle now is the absence of a courageous partner for peace on the other side.
Regarding the US demand for a settlement construction freeze, Netanyahu said Israel’s two goals are to reactivate the peace process and normalize the lives of a quarter of a million West Bank residents. “We are looking for a bridging formula to enable this and will report when it is achieved.”
Asked to respond on the release of the Lockerbie bomber, the British prime minister stressed: “Our determination to fight terrorism is clear and shown in our every action including involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.” He added that he had made it absolutely clear to the Libyan ruler Qaddafi when they met in July that the UK had no role to play in the Scottish decision to free him.
With this remark, Brown broke his silence on the Lockerbie bomber’s release, but did not refer to the row over the issue between London and Washington.

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