"I’d like to stress two points in this context: the talks are taking place without preconditions, as we insisted all along. The proximity talks must lead to direct talks as soon as possible."
"Peace cannot be brought from a distance or by remote-control, especially as we are such close neighbors. These agreements, crucial to Israel’s future and the Palestinians’ will not be reached without us sitting and negotiating in the same room. We must achieve peace and security so that we will be able to live side by side with the Palestinians for generations."
Meanwhile Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
"A comprehensive peace plan is needed, one that Israel stands behind. I'm not sure that that is possible with the current government. Without an agreement, we will be subject to international isolation, and we will suffer a fate similar to that of Belfast or Bosnia, or a gradual transition from a paradigm of two states for two peoples to one of one state for two peoples, and some people will try to label us as similar to South Africa. That's why we must act.
"If both sides are willing to make brave decisions, it will be possible to get to direct negotiations and a breakthrough toward an agreement."