Minister of Minority Affairs Professor Avishay Braverman said Saturday that the recently relaunched peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians posed "a strategic threat to Iran."
Speaking at the Shabbat Tarbut event in Haifa, the minister said that "the cancellation of a visit by the Iranian foreign minister to Egypt and the historical events that have occurred in Tehran since the start of peace talks are proof that progress in the talks will lead to an alliance between Israel and the moderate Arab states versus the axis of evil of Iran-Hamas-Hezbollah."
Braverman was referring to Egypt's cancellation Friday of a meeting that was to include Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki over remarks he had made earlier, accusing of Arab leaders of betrayal for cooperating with the U.S.-sponsored peace talks.
Mottaki was quoted in the Iranian media on Tuesday as saying that the Arab leaders meeting in Washington in order to launch the renewal of peace talks with Israel are traitors to their respective peoples. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah II both attended the official launch of the direct talks in Washington.
Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, also criticized the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. In a speech he gave on Friday in honor of pro-Palestinian "Jerusalem Day," Nasrallah said that "these negotiations were born and have died."
Nasrallah added, "Palestine from the river to the sea is the property of the Palestinian people, the Arabs and the Muslims, and no person has the right to give any of it away, not a grain of sand or a drop of water."
Nasrallah blessed the Hamas for the attacks it carried out this past week and said, "This is the message, and this is the way to liberate Jerusalem and Palestine. Hamas and other resistance fighters of their kind should hear voices of support from the entire Arab and Muslim world."
Sources close to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that by the end of the first round of talks between Israel and the PA in Washington, the mood of the Palestinian delegation had turned around 180 degrees.
The London-based newspaper Al-Hayat announced Saturday morning that the Palestinian delegation had expressed satisfaction with the Americans' intention to include all of the core issues in the peace agreement that is supposed to be finalized before the end of 2011.
Arab League chief Amr Moussa also expressed cautious optimism on Friday that the current round of talks between Israel and the Palestinians will be the final round. According to Moussa, participating in an economic conference in Italy, the Arab world is read for comprehensive peace with Israel in exchange for withdrawal to the 1967 borders, including in East Jerusalem.
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