Peres: Fayyad and Abbas Are Serious Leaders Who Want Peace

President says leaders are working to prevent violence in the region; comments come a day after FM Lieberman call Abbas 'biggest obstacle' to regional order.

President Shimon Peres on Tuesday lauded Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as "serious leaders" intent on bringing an end to the Middle East conflict.

"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Salam Fayyad are serious leaders who want peace and are working to prevent violence and extremism in our are," Peres said in a meeting with visiting American actor Jason Alexander.

Peres - Yossi Zamir / Flash 90 - October 25, 2011
Yossi Zamir / Flash 90

The president added that peace negotiations "must be continued in order to achieve a peace agreement that will put an end to the long conflict."

Peres' comments came a day after Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called Abbas the "greatest obstacle" to regional order, telling reporters in Jerusalem it would be a "blessing" if the Palestinian leader were to resign.

"If there is one obstacle that should be removed immediately, it is [Abbas]," he said. "If he were to return the keys and resign, it would not be a threat, but a blessing."

"The only thing that interests Abbas is to inscribe himself in the history books as he who brought about the Palestinian state and the reconciliation with Hamas," Lieberman added. "Anyone who succeeds him would be better for Israel. If Abu Mazen goes, there would be a chance to reignite the peace process."

Alexander, who played George Costanza on Seinfeld, was in Israel this week to participate in a discussion in the Knesset regarding the policy of the state of Israel in the aftermath of the release of abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

The discussion, which will took place as part of an event hosted by MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima) to promote a two-state solution, included a delegation of over 30 American businessmen and entertainers as part of the “One Voice” campaign.