The two ministers discussed issues of bilateral and diplomatic interest. FM Liberman briefed FM Carr on the situation in the Middle East and relations between Israel and the Palestinians.

 FM Liberman meets with Australian FM Carr

 

FM Liberman greeting FM Carr in Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)

(Communicated by Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman met today (Tuesday, August 7 2012) with the Australian foreign minister, Senator The Honorable Robert John “Bob” Carr, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem.

The two ministers discussed issues of bilateral and diplomatic interest. FM Liberman briefed FM Carr on the situation in the Middle East and relations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Liberman said at the meeting that, in the last few months, Israel has gone to considerable lengths to improve the atmosphere vis-à-vis the Palestinians and has made several gestures. These include the decision of the socio-economic cabinet on July 14 to grant permits to an additional 5,000 Palestinians to work in Israel; and the July 20 transfer of NIS 180 million to the PA as an advance on tax collections, in honor of Ramadan. Liberman also noted that in 2012 an agreement was signed between the Israel Electric Company and the Palestinian Energy Authority to build four power substations in the West Bank to produce electricity. Israel approved infrastructure projects in Area C, mainly for building industrial parks and renovating infrastructures, and also removed more roadblocks in Judea and Samaria.

FM Liberman said that the Palestinians’ response to these steps arrived on July 24, when they sent a letter to the EU vilifying Israel and accusing it of stealing and abusing natural resources, closing the Gaza Strip, destroying projects in Area C, violence by settlers against the Palestinian population, building settlements, and more. Liberman noted that the tone and spirit of the letter sent by the Palestinians was reminiscent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and editorials published in Der Stürmer.

FM Liberman added that these events make clear that, as long as Abu Mazen heads the Palestinian Authority, there is little chance of making progress towards an arrangement with the Palestinians