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Lieberman dismisses Palestinian motives in Amman talks
Published Monday 09/01/2012 (updated) 11/01/2012 10:48
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Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman gestures as he speaks during a
party meeting in Jerusalem on Sept. 26. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman dismissed newly rekindled diplomatic contacts with Palestinian officials on Monday, accusing them of poor faith in peacemaking.

Lieberman, a hardline coalition partner to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is often sidelined in statecraft, told lawmakers in Jerusalem that Palestinians only agreed to resume contacts after being "dragged against their will" to Amman.

"They are preparing a groundwork of excuses to shift responsibility for the talks' failure to Israel," Lieberman said, according to an official transcript of the parliamentary briefing.

PLO delegates are due to meet representatives of the Israeli government in the Jordanian capital later on Monday, in the second such talks since last week, called by the international Quartet.

Senior presidential adviser Yasser Abed Rabbo said Lieberman's assessment was not shared by other parties to the talks.

"All sides in the Quartet and our brothers in Jordan see a complete seriousness from the Palestinian side, and an Israeli attempt to turn these negotiations into a waste of time, with an intensified campaign of settlement-building," he told Reuters in Ramallah.

Last Tuesday's meeting in Amman was the first since direct talks stalled in late 2010, when Israel refused to renew a partial freeze on building settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

The Jordanian-hosted meeting was attended by the so-called Quartet of peace brokers -- the United States, European Union, Russia and United Nations -- who on Oct. 26 gave the sides three months to submit their proposals on territory and security.

In Amman, a regional diplomatic source described the second round of talks, held behind closed doors, as a chance to assess longer-term prospects.

"This is even more important" than the introductory meeting, the source said. "We have to see the follow-up, and what comes now."

Lieberman said that Palestinian officials, who applied directly for full UN membership in September 2011, drawing the ire of Israel and the US, planned to resume this "internationalisation" campaign after Jan. 26, the target date set by the Quartet.

"Whoever talks about a 'breakthrough' with the Palestinians is clueless," he said, according to the transcript. "The key word is 'management' of the conflict with the Palestinians."

Abed Rabbo told Reuters: "We will turn to the international community, and the UN Security Council in any event, not only to condemn settlement construction but to demand direct international intervention to protect the two-state solution."

A Netanyahu spokesman had no immediate reaction to Lieberman's remarks.
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1 ) Tony B? / ME
09/01/2012 18:04
Lieberman is one of the few people involved in this charade that is not only fully aware of the Pal game plan. He has the balls to call it what it is.

2 ) EE / UK
09/01/2012 20:21
Avigdor is correct - palestinians are killing time moving for "internationalization" of the conflict. But they will lose as always and UN would not help them. They should know by now that probable Palestinian state in 1948 would be the largest and every next attempt to resolve the conflict in 1967, 2000, 2008, 2012 would only shrink territory of that Palestinian state more and more. If palestinians could possibly learn from past mistakes Palestinian state would be reality now. But they could not

3 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/01/2012 21:30
Lieberman's my choice for Israel's next Prime Minister, that's for sure.

4 ) Tibi / Tubas
09/01/2012 22:05
It does NOT matter if "Palestinians only agreed to resume contacts after being dragged against their will".

Instead, what matters is that Palestinians can NOT agree to a compromise that allows for the Jewish state to be recognized as having a right to exist,
(even without secure borders & the demographic threat of refugee return)
without starting a civil war among Palestinians, which they will try to avoid,
at all costs, both NOW, AND IN THE FUTURE.

5 ) sarah / holland
09/01/2012 22:31
Why is Lieberthing still talking? His brain is sick.

6 ) Southparkbear / usa
09/01/2012 23:48
if he wasn't a jew I would nominate him for a sainthood

7 ) Colin Wright / USA
10/01/2012 06:06
'...accusing them of poor faith in peacemaking.' An accusation of poor faith from an Israeli is pretty rich. Zionism has consistently broken its promises since 1917. The only significance an Israeli promise has is that it indicates what they would like you to believe.

8 ) Julie / USA
10/01/2012 07:17
uhh, #2 EE , but Pals aren't losing at the UN, they are winning!!! does UNESCO ring any bells for you? time for you to wakey wakey upppp!

9 ) Mark of Lewiston / USA
10/01/2012 07:19
If Lieberman believes himself, why is Israel at the talks? Tibi @4 should read the Israeli Foreign Ministry website. The PLO has already recognized Israel and its right to exist, several years ago. It is Likud that refuses recognition of a Palestinian right to statehood - see the Likud platform posted on the Knesset website. Last I looked, Likud ran the plurality of the Israeli government.

10 ) Nour / One State
10/01/2012 07:31
The Moldovan is right. The PA has no free will. yet it wants sovereignty on the ground? What a joke.

11 ) George / USA
10/01/2012 18:48
Lieberman belongs in Russia. He is taking space that should be occupied by the Palestinians who were born in Israel. He does not have the right to anything in the middle-east. He represents everything that is wrong in the world.
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