"We will not let Hamas choose when to attack and when to stop and regroup." FM Livni also stressed that weapons smuggling across the Sinai-Gaza border must be dealt with immediately. 

 FM Livni meets with senior Mideast experts in Washington


FM Livni in Washington  (Photo: Shahar Azran)

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni met today in Washington with heads of research institutes, senior researchers, and Middle East experts, who represent the entire gamut of opinion in the US capital.

Regarding the situation in the Gaza Strip, FM Livni stated: "I do not believe in a situation where we will allow Hamas to decide when it will attack, and when it will regroup. The smuggling problem must be controlled and cannot be ignored."

Regarding the Iranian situation, FM Livni stated: "We see that the international community understands that the world cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran, but the price is not yet clear enough. In the Middle East, any hesitation is perceived as weakness. The countries in the region are testing the international community’s behavior. Iran can become a dangerous regional and international player prior to obtaining nuclear weapons – if the Arab and Moslem world perceives that the West has given up its struggle against a nuclear Iran."

Referring to her expectations from the US regarding the negotiations, FM Livni stated: "There are two main principles upon which Israel will not compromise.
One: The significance of the two-state principal is that each state will provide its people with a complete national solution. This means that the Palestinian state will provide a national solution to all Palestinians wherever they may be – including the Palestinian refugees held as bargaining chips in the various refugee camps.
The second principle is the assurance of Israel’s security and its security demands, and I call on all governments to support this basic demand to ensure our security.

Israel expects any US administration to protect the bilateral nature of the Israel-Palestinian peace process, to ensure that each side’s leadership make its own decisions relating to the future of its citizens without outside interference, and to act in accordance with the basic principles regarding the refugees and Israel’s security that were outlined by President Bush in a recent letter signed by the US Congress."