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BBC BREAKFAST WITH FROST INTERVIEW
SHIMON PERES OCTOBER 15TH, 2000

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

DAVID FROST
And now back to the Middle East and we said we'd try and talk to someone who's been at the cabinet and we're delighted to have with us the former Israeli Prime Minister, the man who shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, who was at the Cabinet meeting this morning. What's the message you brought from that Cabinet meeting, Shimon?

SHIMON PERES
Israel is really ready to have a ceasefire immediately, we're ready to renew the peace negotiations and we think that we shouldn't postpone it, we cannot negotiate with the mob in the street, we cannot negotiate with terror. And we understand that the problem is not our relations with Arafat but a choice for the Palestinians and the Israelis between war and peace.

DAVID FROST
A choice for them both at this time. And do you feel that Yasser Arafat is able to deliver on what he agrees tomorrow, if he agrees tomorrow, I mean people talk worryingly about maybe his people are out of control, do you think that's unfair to Arafat?

SHIMON PERES
I think it is his problem and he has to show that he is in control otherwise I mean he stops being in address. Leaders have to lead not to follow.

DAVID FROST
And in terms of a ceasefire, how soon going on, if they make a choice tomorrow for peace rather than war, both sides, how soon would you like to see, or do you think it's practicable for in fact peace talks to resume?

SHIMON PERES
I think in 12 hours to have a complete ceasefire and also a change in the tone in the media to stop the incitement, to stop, to stop the inflamation to call people to go back to reason. I think the Palestinians do have to understand that they are playing with fire, it's not them only viz a viz Israel, it's them viz-a-viz the world. You can see the reaction in the United States and in Europe, nobody is alone in the world and if the world will have to choose between terror and freedom it will be for freedom.

DAVID FROST
And was in fact, was in fact Ariel Sharon at the Cabinet meeting this morning, what is his constitutional position right now?

SHIMON PERES
Yesterday night there was a meeting between him and Mr Barak, I understand they have agreed to wait after the Sharma el Sheikh meeting because the reason for Sharon to join in a government was a state of emergency, if the emergency will disappear the need for such a government is no longer evident.

DAVID FROST
And you have fought for peace in the Middle East throughout your long and distinguished career, this morning are you an optimist or a pessimist?

SHIMON PERES
You know for me peace is like life, I'm against committing suicide, I think nobody has a choice but to continue the peace, strategy and any other alternative will be a tragedy for all parties concerned.

DAVID FROST
Shimon thank you very much indeed for joining us this morning, we appreciate it.

SHIMON PERES
Thank you.

DAVID FROST
Shimon Peres direct there from the Israeli Cabinet meeting and that's it for this week, our thanks to Rory and to all of our guests, to the well known Sheffield Wednesday supporter up there, David Blunkett. We're back at the same time next week, for this morning top of the morning and good morning.

END

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