No chance of peace for years, says Israel's Foreign Minister
Friday 09 October 2009
There is no chance of an early solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and people must "learn to live with it", the Israeli Foreign Minister warned yesterday.
"Anyone who says that within the next few years an agreement can be reached ending the conflict... simply doesn't understand the situation and spreads delusions, ultimately leading to disappointments and an all-out confrontation here," Avigdor Lieberman said in a radio interview.
He added: "I am going to say very clearly: there are conflicts that have not been completely solved and people have learnt to live with it, like Cyprus."
Mr Lieberman, the head of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party, suggested that a long-term, interim deal with the Palestinians could ensure prosperity, security and stability, but tougher questions should be left until later.
"We have to be realistic," he said. "We will not be able to reach agreement on core and emotional subjects like Jerusalem and the right of return of Palestinian refugees."
Mr Lieberman does not lead Israel's negotiating team and his ideas will not necessarily translate into his country's policy towards the Palestinians, which is set by the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Nevertheless, the Foreign Minister's remarks overshadowed the arrival in Jerusalem of George Mitchell, America's Middle East envoy, who will try to get the stalled talks moving again.
The Palestinians have said they will not agree to an interim peace deal that would put off a resolution of the conflict indefinitely. The Islamist movement Hamas has said it is willing to agree to a long-term ceasefire but that it will not recognise Israel as a state.
Mr Mitchell met Mr Lieberman and the Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, yesterday, and will hold talks with Mr Netanyahu and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, today.
The veteran negotiator tried to strike a determined, upbeat note on his arrival, despite rising tensions in Jerusalem and reports that more Israeli settlements are being laid out in Palestinian territories.
Speaking before talks with Israel's President, Shimon Peres, Mr Mitchell said: "We're going to continue with our efforts to achieve an early relaunch of negotiations... because we believe that is an essential step toward achieving the comprehensive peace."
Mr Abbas is expected to tell Mr Mitchell that he will not resume peace talks until Israel puts a freeze on the expansion of settlements in Palestinian areas, and until the two sides set out a clear agenda for negotiations.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Follow the latest updates from the Monday night Premier League fixture
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday
Sophia Loren: How I rejected Cary Grant and 'pulverised' Marlon Brando with my eyes
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Oscar Pistorius sentence: Athlete's wealth and notoriety provoke an overdue debate on South African prisons
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Lynda Bellingham dead: Loose Women presenter dies after battle with colon cancer
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...