Israeli FM: Abbas is not peace partner

Avigdor Lieberman says that turmoil in the Middle East means that an agreement with Palestinians was unlikely.

    Lieberman describes peace with Palestinians as 'currently unachievable' [Gallo/Getty]

    Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli's foreign minister, has accused the Palestinians of attempting to avoid negotiations, saying that Israeli-Palestinian peace is currently unachievable.

    Addressing a meeting of Israeli diplomats in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday, Lieberman said that the current turmoil in the Middle East, meant that an agreement with the Palestinians could not be reached any time soon.

    "Do you start to lay the foundations for a new building in the midst of a earthquake?" he asked.

    "We have no partner for peace ... Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' nom de guerre) proves time after time that he is not a partner for anything."Lieberman said on Sunday.

    Conflict management

    Repeating views he had expressed in the past, Lieberman said that "the key word in our relations with the Palestinians should be managing the conflict, and not solving it.

    "Whoever says it is possible to reach peace with the Palestinians in the coming years is mistaken and misleading (others)," said Lieberman, who has never hidden his blunt scepticism of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

    "This is the situation for the next decade and we need to know how to deal with it in a way that is best for both sides, to facilitate stability, economic and security cooperation, and economic growth among the Palestinians," he said.

    He added that no Israeli territorial withdrawal would solve the root issues of the conflict - refugees, Jerusalem and security arrangements.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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