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Israeli FM commits to peace, not Palestinian state

Israeli FM commits to peace, not Palestinian state

Israel's foreign minister, whose anti-Arab statements have frayed diplomatic nerves, committed himself on Monday to Mideast peace, but did not endorse the idea of a Palestinian state as sought by the United States and the European Union. .
As he kicked off a European tour in Rome, hardline politician Avigdor Lieberman skirted around the issue of a Palestinian state, putting him on a possible collision course with U.S. and EU efforts for a solution to the region's conflict.
"This government's goal is not produce slogans or make pompous declarations, but to reach concrete results," he said when asked if he would ever endorse a Palestinian state.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Italian counterpart Franco Frattini, Lieberman said he was confident the Cabinet led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would "reach a secure and definitive peace with the Palestinians and the Arab nations around us."
Lieberman stressed the government was still drawing up its new foreign policy, which Netanyahu is expected to unveil before talks with President Barack Obama in mid-May.
Netanyahu, who took office in March, has so far refused to endorse the idea of an independent Palestinian state _ a cornerstone of the West's policy in the region.
Lieberman, who heads the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu, or "Israel is our home" party, has raised concerns in the West with his fiery rhetoric. In his first speech as foreign minister, he said concessions to Palestinians only invite war, and criticized U.S. peace efforts last year.


Updated : 2021-04-13 12:44 GMT+08:00