Foreign Minister Livni and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who came to Israel in honor of the 60th anniversary of Israeli independence, discussed regional issues.

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau )

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni met with the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who is in Israel with a bipartisan congressional delegation to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding. At their meeting, the two leaders talked about various regional topics.

Regarding the situation in the Gaza Strip, FM Livni said, "The peace process, which is important in and of itself, will not change the situation in Gaza. If there is no change in Gaza, Gaza will become a regional problem that will be an obstacle to reaching and implementing an agreement."

Regarding the diplomatic negotiations, FM Livni said, "The time in which an agreement is achieved is important, but its contents are much more important. An inflexible timeframe is liable to create expectations, disappointments and violence. According to past experience, the parties need to be given space and time to arrive at a solid agreement that genuinely reflects their long-term interests. We also know that vague agreements only lead to a continuation of conflict rather than a resolution of it."

Regarding Iran, FM Livni said, "The effectiveness of sanctions depends on a united front of world states. When Iran is given commercial alternatives, the effectiveness of the sanctions is compromised. When Iran sees the foreign minister of Switzerland come to Ahmadinajad to sign an agreement wearing a [traditional Islamic] head covering, Iran concludes that the world is not united against it."

About Lebanon, FM commented, "Just as Hizbullah acts as an emissary of Iran that challenges Lebanese stability and pushes its own extremist agenda rather than Lebanese interests – just so Hamas pushes its agenda of hatred and terror rather than the Palestinian interest. Lebanon today offers the world concrete proof of our contention that the Iranian threat impacts on the entire region."