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Israel peace negotiator defends Abbas talks
Published Monday 19/05/2014 (updated) 21/05/2014 10:25
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A file picture taken on Sept. 28, 2013 shows Israel's chief
negotiator Tzipi Livni addressing a conference in Washington
(AFP/File Nicholas Kamm)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel's chief negotiator Tzipi Livni on Monday defended a decision to meet President Mahmoud Abbas after peace talks collapsed, in a move that drew sharp criticism from ministers.

"I would like to remind everyone that the conflict isn't over," Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told her HaTnuah party at a weekly meeting, according to a statement.

"We're still here and the Palestinians are still here. Our interest is to resolve the conflict, and ignoring reality is not an option," she said.

Livni came under fire for holding talks in London with Abbas on Thursday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office and ministers distancing themselves from the meeting, insisting it was private and did not signal official intention to resume talks.

Israel pulled out of the talks in mid-April, saying it would not negotiate with any Palestinian government supported by Hamas after the leadership in the West Bank signed a unity deal with the rival Islamist rulers of Gaza.

The PLO blamed Israel's continued settlement construction, failure to release prisoners as promised, and its army's killings of over 60 Palestinians for the talks' demise.

"Ignoring the other side, not listening or talking, is irresponsible," Livni said.

"A resolution is best achieved through direct negotiations, but we can't ignore the agreement between Hamas and Fatah," she said, referring to Abbas' ruling party which dominates the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

"To all those politicians up in arms, I want to be clear -- we'll continue doing what we believe in, and that's what I did last week by meeting the president," Livni said.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
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1 ) Bill / USA
19/05/2014 21:18
Doing the next right thing is what we are called to do. We are not to look back the past is behind us and there is nothing that will change it. predicting the future according to the past is foolish because it causes the past to repeat itself. God tells us to focus on today do the next right thing today. What Tzipi Livni did was the next right thing. If everyone did the next right thing things would be a lot different the past would be fond memories, and the future would be full of hope.

2 ) who cares? / she is only
19/05/2014 21:27
a puppet!

3 ) Mel / USA
19/05/2014 21:39
"Ignoring the other side...not listening...talking,is irresponsible,"?LOL! This woman is one schizoid cat!One minute she's jumps into political bed with Ultra"extremist/La Familia etc & mobster/terrorists like Bibi,Lieberman,Bennett-Shas-Kahanist trash(for votes) & along with E.Barak,BOMBS babies,women,men.elderly,sick, trapped in Gaza(2008-9)for resisting illegal Occupation,then she wants "listen" &"talk" to those STILL alive & occupied!2-faced opportunist!

4 ) Ralph / here
19/05/2014 22:44
If I wanted to see a picture of an ugly whore I would have gone to a porn site.

5 ) JoeFattal / USA
19/05/2014 22:56
She made a good point. "We're still here and the Palestinians are still here". And they both still not independent from each others. What good is Israel State is there, Jewish State or not if the Palestinians don't get their own State. They can have their own Jewish State, but how about the Palestinians, and obviously they aren't going anywhere reegardless what the extremists are doing to get them to leave. They both going to get stuck with each others if nothing is done.

6 ) Tibi / Tubas
19/05/2014 23:37
Talking is always good (& preferable to shooting surely); however, Nothing good will ever come from Negotiations, since There is No Possibility of Compromise, beyond what was already both agreed to and signed as the "Oslo Accords", 20 years ago, which left - Israel as a secure, prosperous state, - Palestine (Gaza & Areas A/B) as an impoverished authority, and - 60% of the West Bank as disputed land, fully under Israel's sovereignty.

7 ) Outlier / USA
20/05/2014 00:33
Despite the enmity many on both sides apparently have for her, Livni shows courage in her quest for peace. If both sides had more individuals with such courage, peace could happen.

8 ) She was a MOSSAD AGENT / QUITE A WOMAN
20/05/2014 07:59
Abu Mazen is SMART to talk to her!

9 ) AKeenReader / UK
20/05/2014 10:34
Brave woman, however it doesn't make sense as to why she is reluctant to stand up againt her cabinet colleagues or resign if they have right wing views. The Israeli cabinet is full of right wing (terrorists) views and yet she has been given a a peace negotiator's role. Why? To give a false opion to the world that Israel really wants peace. Who are they kidding?

10 ) Shalom / Canada
20/05/2014 14:18
Was actually interested that Livni met Abbas. Thought it showed initiative on both sides. Pity, others didn't see it that way. Still as they say, there are none so blind...
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