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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Israeli President Says Israel Ready to Make Concessions

KIEV, Ukraine - Israeli President Moshe Katzav said Monday his country was prepared to make concessions to Palestinians for the sake of peace, but Palestinians would have to end 16 weeks of unrest.

Katzav, whose role is largely ceremonial, was speaking during a trip to Ukraine where he held talks with President Leonid Kuchma.

His comments came as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held the latest round of peace talks in Egypt, but neither side was predicting a breakthrough.

"We are ready to go a long way and make large concessions for the sake of peace," Katzav told reporters through an interpreter in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

But he said: "If we are to make further concessions, it will only be during talks and not under the threat of terror."

He called on Palestinians to renounce violence, a reference to unrest in Gaza and the West Bank in which 368 people have been killed, mostly Palestinians.

Katzav, who was on his first official trip abroad since his election last year, travelled with a delegation of Israeli business leaders and pledged to improve economic ties with Ukraine. Mutual trade reached just $200 million in 1999.

The two leaders signed a series of agreements, including a pledge to cooperate in civilian rocket science.

Katzav also laid a wreath at Babi Yar, the World War Two site of a Nazi massacre of more than 100,000 Jews and other residents of Kiev. The 60th anniversary of the killings falls later this year.

"Babi Yar is a huge wound for the Jewish people, and a lesson for Europeans and all humanity," Katzav said.