Tel Aviv, May 7 (Prensa Latina) Israeli President Shimon Peres said in statements published on Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prevented the signing of the peace agreements with the Palestinians in 2011. There was a draft agreement negotiated by (Palestinian Pressident Mahmud) Abbas and I in secret meetings in Jordan, but Netanyahu asked me to wait because he thought that then British Prime Minister Tony Blair “might get a better offer”, Peres told a TV station.

Days passed and there was no better offer, pointed out Peres, whose post is ceremonial and lacks decision-making faculties.

In August 2011, Abbas told the members of Al Fatah that he had held four rounds of talks with the Israeli president, one of the signatories of the 1993 Oslo Agreements, which should pave the way to create an independent state.

The statements made by Peres, who must leave his post this year, follow the failure in the talks between Palestinian and Israelis, which began in July 2013 and concluded without an agreement in late April 2014.

The incumbent Israeli government justified leaving the talks after the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas, the Islamic group that rules in Gaza, signed a reconciliation agreement that ended a dispute of nearly eight years.

Peres’ statements show the lack of political will of the Netanyahu government, which is the main cause of the failure of the negotiations, sponsored by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

[Pressenza Note: see Haaretz report]