Netanyahu: Peace Talks With Palestinians 'Within Weeks'

Israeli premier tells Herzliya Conference that negotiations will resume 'without preconditions.'

Israel on Wednesday that peace talks with the Palestinians are likely to resume "within the coming weeks."

"I have a basis to hope that in the coming weeks we will renew the peace process with the Palestinians without preconditions," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a conference in Herzliya on Wednesday.

"I have been saying for quite some time that the international community recognizes the fact that Israel wants and is ready to renew the peace process," the premier said. "From the moment that this recognition has dawned on the key elements in the international community, the feasibility and practicality of this move has also come to fruition."

Netanyahu cited the American efforts to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians, who have thus far refused to resume peace talks.

"You need two to tango," Netanyahu said. "In the Middle East, you need three, and only later can we continue to dance as a couple."

"If there is a desire to begin a process, we will see the renewal of the process within the coming weeks," the premier said.

Netanyahu also alluded to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's speech at the Herzliya Conference in 2005, when he announced his intention to dismantle settlements in the Gaza Strip.

"Today, I want to talk about engagement [rather than disengagement]," Netanyahu said. "Engagement with tradition, Zionism, our past and our future, here in the land of our forefathers, the land of our children and grandchildren."