Liberman to Blair: What is needed is to start direct talks with the Palestinians without committing to a specific deadline.

 FM Liberman meets with Quartet envoy Tony Blair


Photo: Yisrael Beitenu

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman and Tony Blair, Quartet special envoy to the Middle East, met this morning (4 January) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. FM Liberman and Mr. Blair discussed the renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians, the situation in the Gaza Strip, and the spread of fundamentalist Islam in the Middle East, especially in relation to recent events in Yemen.

FM Liberman said at the meeting that it is important to hold a frank dialogue with the Palestinians without creating any illusions that will only cause frustration and, in the end, lead to violence. He told Blair that it is not possible to reach an agreement on permanent borders within nine months and a final agreement within two years. That is an unrealistic goal; what is needed is to start direct talks without committing to a specific deadline. Liberman noted that, in the past, when unrealistic deadlines were set and then not met, this led to extremism and renewed violence.