FM Liberman: "We have been prepared to begin direct negotiations with the Palestinians, with no preconditions, from the first day this government was established, and are grateful to Special Envoy George Mitchell for his efforts on this issue."

 FM Liberman optimistic proximity talks will begin shortly

 

FM Liberman (MFA archive file)

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman stated today at the meeting of the "Yisrael Beiteinu" party that he is optimistic that the proximity talks with the Palestinians will begin within a period of one to two weeks. According to FM Liberman, "We have been prepared to begin direct negotiations with the Palestinians, with no preconditions, from the first day this government was established, and are grateful to Special Envoy George Mitchell for his efforts on this issue."

FM Liberman said that immediately upon initiation of the talks, it would be necessary to determine if we have a partner, and what are his intentions. It is unfeasible for the Palestinians to negotiate peace on the one hand and to praise terrorism and commemorate terrorists – for instance by naming central streets after Yihye Ayish and Abu Jihad, who are responsible for some of the most heinous acts of terror – on the other. FM Liberman added that "The commemoration of terrorists, the filing of international lawsuits against senior Israeli officials for war crimes, and other actions against Israel in the international arena do not indicate peaceful intent. The Palestinian Authority educates its children in paths of hate and terror. We all desire peace, but this is not the way to achieve it. Progress is dependent on the termination of these Palestinian actions. It is my hope that with the initiation of the talks we will not only receive answers on these issues, we will also see action."