Print Download PDF Embed

News Release

Palestinian Prime Minister Says Conditions Not Ripe for Negotiations with Israel

Adrian Monck, Managing Director, Head of Communications: +41 (0)79 817 0315;

  • Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said conditions are not ripe for a resumption of peace talks.
  • Israeli President Shimon Peres called for immediate negotiations, and asserted that Iran is the main obstacle to peace.
  • The theme of the 42nd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models. For more information, visit

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 26 January 2012 – “Conditions are not ripe or right” for a meaningful resumption of direct negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Salam Fayyad told World Economic Forum participants in a debate with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres today.

In a session that showed a gulf between Peres and Fayyad on the day that the deadline for progress in Israeli-Palestinian talks expired, they were asked whether hope for peace between the two sides is still possible. “Right now, one would have to work really hard to be hopeful,” said Fayyad, adding that the peace process has “never been so lacking in focus” since its launch nearly two decades ago.

Peres, however, expressed hope that progress could be achieved soon and called for direct negotiations to begin at once. “We need a bouquet of agreements, which won’t cover all the issues, to enable the Palestinians and Israel to keep open the negotiations,” he said. “I believe if we negotiate, peace will come maybe sooner than we think.”

Peres criticized as “arbitrary” the deadline imposed by the Quartet of Middle East mediators – the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union ­– which expired today with no progress achieved in the talks that aimed at reviving negotiations. “Under tension and pressure, we will make mistakes,” he said.

Iran poses the greatest threat to Middle East peace, Peres asserted. “They want to be the hegemon and they don’t want peace,” he added, citing as evidence Tehran’s support of two armed groups that are sworn foes of Israel: the Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Praising European measures to pressure Iran over its nuclear programme, Peres said the international community must pressure the Islamic state on its human rights record and give Iranians hope that they can oust their government.

Fayyad pointed out that 18 years after the Oslo peace process was launched, it is unclear what President Peres means by his support for a two-state solution. “What kind of state does he have in mind when he says ‘Palestinian State’?” he asked.

“To be clear about what we mean by that: we are looking for an independent, viable state of Palestine on the territories occupied in 1967,” added Fayyad.

Both agreed on the need for two courses of action: peace negotiations and Palestinian state building. But Fayyad said more international attention needs to be focused on the Authority’s lack of resources. That, he said, is due to a lack of financial assistance and the need for Palestinians to acquire Israeli permits to move or operate in 60% of the West Bank.

The Co-Chairs of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012 are: Yasuchika Hasegawa, President and Chief Executive Officer, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Japan; Vikram Pandit, Chief Executive Officer, Citi, USA; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever, United Kingdom; Alejandro Ramirez, Chief Executive Officer, Cinepolis, Mexico; Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook, USA; and Peter Voser, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Dutch Shell, Netherlands.

Notes to Editors

Find more information about the Annual Meeting 2012 at
View the best photographs from the Annual Meeting on Flickr at
Watch live webcasts of the sessions on Livestream at
Watch the sessions on YouTube at or Youku at
Ask a World Leader on YouTube:
Become a fan of the Forum on Facebook at
Follow the Forum on Twitter at and
Listen to the Forum Podcast at
Read the Forum Blog at
Read Forum reports on Scribd at
Follow the Meeting on the iPhone at
Upcoming Forum events at
Subscribe to Forum News Releases at
Connect with the Forum at


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (