JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken of reviving a long-dormant Arab peace initiative with the Palestinians, amid questions over whether he is sincere or trying to fend off international critics. Netanyahu made his comments late Monday at the swearing in of his new hardline Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, forming what many analysts call the most right-wing government in Israeli history.Lieberman is detested by the Palestinians, and foreign governments have expressed concern over his appointment to the powerful post. Both Netanyahu and Lieberman have repeatedly sought to address such concerns, saying they are committed to a two-state solution. Netanyahu went a step further on Monday, saying an Arab League-endorsed peace initiative dating to 2002 “includes positive elements that can help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians”.“We are willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in the region since 2002, but maintains the agreed goal of two states for two peoples,” Netanyahu said. His comments come after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said two weeks ago that there was now a “real opportunity” for an Israeli-Palestinian deal that could lead to warmer ties between his country and Israel.Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab nations with a peace deal with Israel. Israel has also seen improved ties and security cooperation with Cairo in recent months as part of the fight against Islamic State group militants.UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov welcomed Netanyahu’s comments, saying “this opportunity should not be missed and must be followed up with concrete and timely action”.