Prime Minister’s Office Denies Endorsing Saudi Peace Plan

YERUSHALAYIM -

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office on Wednesday denied telling Russian President Vladimir Putin that the prime minister found the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative “universally acceptable,” contradicting a claim made earlier by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, according to The Times of Israel.

“The Arab initiative was not discussed at all in the conversation with President Putin,” the PMO said in a statement, referring to a Tuesday meeting with Putin at the Kremlin.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu has already previously stated that the initiative needs to be amended, particularly in light of the dramatic changes that have occurred in the region since 2002,” the statement continued.

“In any event, no Arab initiative can be used to dictate [terms] to Israel, but rather it is a subject for discussion between Israel and the countries of the region with the aim of promoting regional peace with the Arab states.”

The Arab League said earlier this week that it would not consider changes in the 2002 Saudi proposals.

The initiative, first drafted by Saudi Arabia in 2002 and later endorsed by the Arab League, calls for a full Israeli withdrawal from all territories captured in the 1967 Six Day War in return for normalized ties with the entire Arab and Muslim world.