Arab democracy favours peace, Israeli president says
More democracy in Arab countries would make it easier to achieve peace in the Middle East, Israeli President Shimon Peres said Monday, dpa reported.
Peres made the comments to Spanish national television TVE prior to an official visit to Spain, where he was scheduled to arrive on Monday evening.
The wave of protests sweeping the Arab world was a "social revolution" rather than a political one, Peres said, describing the demonstrations as launching "a new era."
"There are more possibilities of solving the Palestinian problem within the general change that is taking place in the Middle East. A democratic Middle East is more favourable to peace," he said.
Poverty and lack of freedoms in Arab countries made the changes "inevitable," Peres said. The Israeli leader said he expected the Iranian regime to also fall "sooner or later."
"If Iran becomes like Egypt, there will be no more revolutions, but if Egypt becomes like Iran, revolutions will continue," Peres said.
"There were times when Arabs were on the forefront of progress, it is up to them," he said.
During the interview, the president also said Islam was compatible with democracy, and encouraged the West to assist Arab countries economically.