On her first official foreign visit as minister, Livni said that Israel believes in a two-state solution for two peoples.

 FM Livni meets with Turkish counterpart Gul


FM Livni chats with Turkish FM Gul in Ankara, May 29. (Reuters)  

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met in Ankara this afternoon (Monday, 29 May 2006) with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. During their meeting Minister Livni made the following statement:

"Israel believes in a two-state solution for two peoples: a national home for the Jewish people alongside a national home for all Palestinians, wherever they are, including the refugees. The international community must understand that we are not talking about a zero-sum game here, where one interest comes at the expense of another – it is also a Palestinian interest.

"And in this context, I maintain that time is against those who believe in the solution of two states for two peoples. Unilateral steps are not an Israeli ideology. Nevertheless, we must not ignore the fact that the Palestinian Authority is led by a terrorist organization that does not even recognize Israel’s right to exist. The international community must understand that only a unified and determined front against the Hamas government and its acceptance of the three minimal conditions set by the community can bring about a future change. In parallel, Israel will make every effort to make progress in coordination with [PA Chairman] Abu Mazen and to help the Palestinian population."

The two ministers also agreed to coordinate and to keep communication open on everything related to regional issues, especially with regard to the Palestinian issue. Both sides praised the great increase in trade between the two countries and Minister Gul announced his country’s intention to open a cultural center in Tel Aviv.

Minister Livni was to meet later in the day with Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. She met earlier with National Security Council Secretary-General Yeet Alfogan.