Home > Israel, Jordan, Palestinian Authority, Spain, West Bank > Netanyahu, Lieberman jockey as direct talks with Palestinians loom

Netanyahu, Lieberman jockey as direct talks with Palestinians loom

JERUSALEM (WJC)–Israel has no plans to extend the ten-month building freeze in Israeli settlements in the West Bank after September, the country’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Wednesday.

He rejected any link between the moratorium and the start of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Lieberman told a joint news conference with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos that there was no room for linkage between such talks and a settlement construction freeze. “We must start direct talks, but there is no place for a moratorium after September 25,” he said.

Foreign ministers of Arab League member states are to meet on Thursday and will consider whether to back direct talks between the Palestinians and Israel. The Palestinian Authority usually follows the advice of the Arab League.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah II to advance peace, security and prosperity in the region, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. There had been no prior announcement that the meeting would take place.

“The two leaders discussed the need to ensure direct, serious and effective negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that would address all final-status issues and create a solution of two states for two peoples in which Israelis and Palestinians will live in lasting and secure peace,” said a statement issued by Netanyahu’s office. 

“The prime minister said that King Abdullah’s leadership was important for advancing peace and stability in the region, and that he looked forward to strengthening the relations between Israel and Jordan,” the statement added.

Jordan’s Islamist-led labor unions strongly condemned Netanyahu’s visit to Amman, describing him as a “criminal.” The head of the Unions’ Council Ahmad Armuti said in a statement: “At a time when the Zionist enemy is killing our people in Palestine and destroying their homes, as well as planning schemes against Jordan’s security, officials receive Netanyahu the criminal in Amman. The trade unions completely reject this visit and hold the government responsible for its political and public responsibilities, in line with the constitution.”

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

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