Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni welcomes a delegation of Muslim Indian leaders visiting Israel
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry’s Bureau)
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni met on Thursday, 16 August, with a delegation of Muslim leaders from India. At the meeting, Livni expressed the hope that visits of a distinguished delegation such as this one will encourage Muslim communities in other countries to show tolerance for Israel. She stressed that Israel is striving to develop peaceful relations and cooperation with its neighbors as well as a dialogue with Muslim communities around the world. Livni noted that the meeting was important, constituting a significant step in removing stereotypes on both sides.
FM Livni explained to the delegation about Israel’s three-sphere strategy. The first sphere represents the bilateral process between Israel and the Palestinians – Israel is interested in working with the moderates, headed by Abu Mazen and Fayyad’s government, and to step up the delegitimization of Hamas. The second sphere includes the wider Arab and Muslim world, which has an important role in supporting the process and integrating Israel into the region through gradual normalization. Livni added that, in response to the gestures Israel has made to the Palestinian Authority (e.g. transfer of tax monies and release of prisoners), the Arab and Muslim states should take steps of their own towards Israel.
The third sphere is the international community, whose task is mainly to support the process and help establish institutions and an economic horizon for the future Palestinian state. Minister Livni stressed that the extremists must be prevented from turning the conflict into a religious one. A religious conflict is irresolvable, whereas national conflicts can be resolved through compromises by both sides.