Israel PM departs for UN, says does not expect 'warm welcome'
Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at Likud conference, says has tried to approach Palestinian President Abbas several times for negotiations, to no avail.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday at a Likud party conference that he is aware he will come under heavy pressure as he prepared to leave for New York.
"Tonight I am going to New York to speak at the General Assembly, meet with (U.S. President Barack) Obama and with other leaders," Netanyahu said. "I know the reception I received here is much warmer than the one I will receive at the UN, and exactly because of that I think we should go there and present our truth… of a people attacked over and over by those opposed to their very existence. That is the most basic truth."
Netanyahu said he has turned to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas several times, and offered him to meet, but Abbas declined. "I told him the road to peace goes through direct negotiations and not unilateral decisions at the UN," he said.
Also on Tuesday, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, said in an interview that Israel “is ready to negotiate tomorrow,” with the Palestinians.
In an interview with Army Radio, Prosor discussed attempts to arrange a meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu during their mutual visit to New York before the UN vote on Palestinian statehood, which is due to take place on September 23.
“We repeat that we are ready for negotiations with no conditions even early tomorrow morning,” the Israel envoy said.
Netanyahu added on Tuesday that "it is much easier to win applause from world nations by extensive concessions we make, and then we see what we get. Municipality heads in the north and the south can attest to that. The danger of a rushed or a unilateral agreement or no agreement is not just rockets on the south or the north, but on all of Israel."
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