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Silvan Shalom addressing the conference. Right to left from Shalom: Jewish News editor Richard Ferrer, Middle East minister, Tobias Ellwood, Ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub’ (Photo credit: Marc Morris photography).

by Stephen Oryszczuk

Benjamin Netanyahu’s deputy prime minister has said he is making moves to restart the Palestinian peace process, without giving details.

Silvan Shalom, an influential cabinet member with responsibility for negotiations, has said he would welcome a return to the table, saying: “We would like to resume the negotiations, but it takes two to tango. We would like to do it today.”

He said the loosening of roadblocks and checkpoints during Ramadan was a confidence-building measure.

The vice prime minister, who was speaking at the Jewish News UK-Israel conference, in Portcullis House, Westminster, on Monday, added any moves should be based on reciprocity.

In a veiled reference to strained relations with the United States, which facilitated the most recent round of talks, he said: “No-one can dictate to us, even if they’re a superpower.”

Shalom, a senior Likud minister known for his hawkish views, said settlements were used as “an excuse” by the international community, adding that he would welcome a European role in negotiations if the EU adopted a “more balanced” approach.

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