Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is opposed to a new meeting between Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who struck a still-born truce four weeks ago, a government source said Saturday.
Barak believes a meeting between Peres, who is his regional cooperation minister and former Nobel peace prize winner, and Arafat is premature, the source said.
"Mr. Arafat gave me a message stressing that the door of negotiations should remain open," Peres told Israeli public radio.
"He is ready to meet me, and I sent a message to the Prime Minister's office, which has not given me an answer yet," the former Prime Minister complained.
He added "that we cannot beat terrorism with military means alone and we must find a political outcome.
"We need another policy (than Barak's), a policy which does not despair in the need to reach a peaceful settlement," Peres said.
Government sources quoted by the Israeli media said Barak is opposed to any Arafat-Peres meeting until there is a return to calm following eight weeks of violence that has cost almost 280 lives, most of them Palestinian -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
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