E Putin Blinked; Netanyahu Didn't

Putin blinked. Netanyahu didn't.

From The Times of Israel, a daily newspaper, today:

"President Shimon Peres said Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu torpedoed a peace deal reached covertly in 2011 with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Peres said that he and Abbas had essentially reached a draft agreement on 'almost all issues' and that an accord was being readied, after a series of secret meetings in Jordan.

"Peres said that the prime minister asked him to wait 3 or 4 days, in the hopes that Quartet Representative and former British prime minister Tony Blair could negotiate a better deal.

"'The days went by and there was no better deal,' said Peres. 'Netanyahu stopped it" [the potential agreement].

"The president told [Israeli Channel 2] TV that during these talks, held in Amman, Abbas agreed to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a core demand of the Israeli government and a crutch in the most recent round of negotiations.

'"He was supposed to agree [to recognize] a Jewish state and we were supposed to agree to recognize [a future] Palestinian state,' said Peres.

"US-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace talks which began last summer ended abruptly in April without an agreement. After 9 months of negotiations, Israel last month suspended further negotiations over the unity agreement between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas reached 2 weeks ago.

"Netanyahu said in US television interviews that the Israeli government 'will be there, I’ll be there' if there was a genuine partner for peace. But the unity pact showed that Israel had no such partner at present.

"Contrary to statements made by other Israel officials, [like] Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s recent remark that Abbas had no real desire for peace, Peres said that the Palestinian Authority president was indeed a partner. 'I’ve known Abu Mazen [Abbas] for 30 years…and the truth is he has fought terror with the resources that he has,' Peres said during the interview. 'He talks about peace and makes courageous remarks' he added."

Since our readers invest a lot of shekalim in Israel companies, we have to keep up with mounting evidence on the real reason Secretary of State Kerry's peace talks have broken down again. As in 2011, to quote Shimon Peres, "Netanyahu stopped it."

More for paid subscribers on significant news from the UK Alternative Investing Market; and the hot internet stock today (Alibaba). We examine the underlying reasons for the Russian withdrawal from the eastern Ukraine border region and the delay allowed for Ukraine to pay its gas bill. Plus 2 energy notes and 2 company reports issued late yesterday from western Canada after the markets closed. These are for paid subscribers only. Join them and your portfolio will gain in value.

*Agrium stock fell to C$101.75 after it reported on its Q1 and beat analyst forecasts on both sales and profits. The main reason is that it warned that Q2 earnings will come in below consensus estimates. AGU Q1 profits came in at 7 cents vs a consensus average of 5 cents, excluding non-recurring items. Revenues, while down 2.4% from Q1 2013, were higher than the Standard & Poor's Capital IQ consensus of US$2.99 bn, at 3.08 bn. Q1 in the Canadian plant nutrition business is always low. AGU expects eps in Q2 to be between $US3.85 and 4.35 from continuing operations vs S&P optimistic talk of $4.98/sh. It also warned that the Carseland nitrogen plant outage will cut production levels and add costs in Q2, accounting for ~35 cents off from prior EPS estimates. AGU reports in US$. Its US share price fell about 47 cents today to $95.35. US reports initially said AGU profits fell 98% in Q1 which caused some selling here.

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