Israeli Foreign Minister Livni discussed the Mecca Agreement and talks with the Palestinians
with visiting Latvian Foreign Minister Pabriks.
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
Today (20 February 2007), Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni met in Jerusalem with Latvian Foreign Minister Mr. Artis Pabriks. During their meeting, Foreign Minister Livni made the following statements regarding the recent Hamas-Fatah agreement on the formation of the Palestinian unity government and the trilateral meeting held yesterday in Jerusalem between Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, US Secretary of State Rice and Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas):
Regarding the Hamas-Fatah agreement on the formation of a Palestinian unity government:
"The understandings recently reached between the Hamas and Abu Mazen are a disappointment for all those who supported the process aimed at isolating the Palestinian extremists from the moderates and creating an alternative leadership for the Palestinian Authority. This agreement does not fulfill the three principles stipulated by the Quartet.
Any recognition of a Palestinian unity government which does not recognize these three principles endangers our ability to promote the two state solution."
Regarding the prerequisites of the international community:
"The Quartet’s principles do not present an obstacle to peace, but rather they are the key to get the process moving. These principles are the foundation of the whole peace process and as such, they must not and cannot be compromised.
For Israel, these three principles are non-negotiable: Israel’s right to exist, the essential need to fight terror and the acceptance of agreements signed as a result of negotiations.
The test is the same for every Palestinian government. Israel will not recognize a Palestinian government that does not agree to the Quartet’s three principles."
On continuation of talks with the Palestinians:
"The Prime Minister and Abu Mazen agreed on the continuation of bilateral meetings between them. The intention is that at these meetings, they will discuss means for improving the living conditions of the Palestinian population, the implementation of Phase I of the Roadmap and most importantly, the Palestinian war on terrorism.
We made it clear to Abu Mazen that our ability to continue our dialogue with him is dependant upon his willingness to separate himself from the Hamas in both word and deed. On the declaratory level – to support the two-state solution, to recognize Israel, to adhere to the Roadmap and to the Quartet’s principles. And regarding his concrete actions – to secure the release of Gilad Shalit, to stop the Kassam rockets from being fired into Israel and to stop the smuggling of arms and ammunition."
Regarding the position of the international community:
"The international community must continue to be decisive with regard to the three principles. A lack of international pressure on the Palestinian government and any agreement to vague formulations will only weaken Abu Mazen and the Fatah in relation to Hamas. Without international pressure, Abu Mazen and Fatah will find it difficult to contend with the Hamas.
It is especially important at this time that the international community clearly and demonstratively enunciates and adheres to the Quartet’s three principles."