FM Liberman: I expect Europe to apply pressure on the moderate Arab states so that they establish and institutionalize relations with Israel as part of a comprehensive regional arrangement.
Copyright: Mark Caldwell
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman met today (Monday 30 June 2014) in Berlin with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
FM Liberman suggested to FM Steinmeier that on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two states and in light of the blossoming of the bilateral relationship and the wide range of mutual interests, it would be beneficial to increase and strengthen the cooperation between Israel and Germany, and recommended the establishment of a permanent, high level strategic dialogue that would permit a real, honest and in-depth dialogue on a range of topics relevant to both states.
FM Liberman discussed the Israeli-Palestinian situation with FM Steinmeier, and said that since the signing of the Fatah-Hamas agreement and the establishment of the Fatah-Hamas unity government, Hamas has received a "boost" from the positive response around the world, a fact that is reflected in the significant increase of Hamas terrorist activities, as is evident from the kidnapping of the three youths and the case of increased rocket fire into Israel in recent days. Therefore, FM Liberman stated, it is better late than never and Israel expects the international community not to bestow legitimacy on Hamas or on the government of which it is a member, but rather to renounce it entirely. FM Liberman stated that Israel would be unable to tolerate the continued firing of rockets into southern Israel, and will be obliged to take harsh measures in the event the firing continues.
FM Liberman further stated during the discussion that he expects Europe to not take the easy and recognized path of compelling obligatory negotiations on Israel and the Palestinians, that result in a Palestinian refusal to every compromise and the world blaming Israel for the failure, but instead he expects Europe to attempt to take a different path, that of applying pressure on the moderate Arab states so that they establish and institutionalize relations with Israel as part of a comprehensive regional arrangement. Only such a move, FM Liberman added, will truly enable the Middle East to cope with the challenges it faces in light of the events in Syria, Libya and Iraq and in light of Iranian behavior. If Germany, France and the United States lead this issue and exercise their influence, FM Liberman stated, the results will be extremely significant, and much speedier than the "road to nowhere" that has characterized Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for the past 21 years.
At the joint press conference with FM Steinmeier after their meeting, FM Liberman said that in light of the renewal of talks with Iran next week, Israel expects the international community to take decisive action against Iran as was done in the matter of removal of chemical weapons from Syria, adding that Iran cannot be permitted to enrich uranium.
In response to reporters’ questions regarding developments in Iraq and the effects on Jordan, FM Liberman said that the stability of Jordan is also a vital Israeli interest and Israel will do everything it can to maintain Jordan’s stability.
With regard to the possibility of the establishment of an independent Kurdish state, FM Liberman replied that the future of Iraq is dependent on the people who live there, and that Israel has no intention of intervening in favor of any particular solution or to offer advice, but reality, as is now becoming apparent, is that a Kurdish national state is becoming fact.