Peres: Arab peace initiative is an opportunity

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Israeli President Shimon Peres says a long-stalled Arab peace initiative could bring peace to the Middle East and resolve the Palestinian conflict.

His remarks in Egypt Thursday marked the first time Peres endorsed the initiative in an Arab country.

It was the latest step in his efforts to advance a 2002 Saudi proposal that offers pan-Arab recognition of Israel in exchange for withdrawal from Arab lands captured in 1967.

Last month, Peres -- a former Nobel peace prize winner whose presidency is mostly ceremonial -- urged Saudi King Abdullah to restart the initiative and has since been promoting the idea with Arab, Israeli and Western officials.

Peres said he doesn't accept the entire Saudi plan but that he endorses its spirit.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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