Liberman: Developing ties with other countries will strengthen Israel-US relations

FM: Talking of peace with Palestinians now is like trying to dig foundations for a building in the midst of an earthquake.

November 22, 2013 14:03
2 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Liberman raising fist 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

A week after returning to the helm of the Foreign Ministry, Avigdor Liberman stressed on Friday the importance of Israel developing ties with other countries, so as to not be completely dependent on the United States.

Speaking at a real estate conference in Eilat, Liberman said that it is exactly because the US is Israel's biggest strategic ally, and because Israel cannot operate without American aid and cooperation, that Israel needs to seek other avenues.

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"We must understand that Israel is not the United States's only ally, and we must take [American] challenges into account and help [the Americans] by developing a diverse foreign policy, creating more diplomatic alliances and not being dependent solely on [the Americans]," he said.

"No alliance with any other state can compare to the special bond Israel and the US have, but strengthening Israel's status and opening up additional relations could benefit both Israel and the US."

Liberman also touched the Iranian threat, an issue at the center of a recent rift in US-Israel relations, saying world powers must not recognize Iran's "right to enrich."

"As soon as the world recognize Iran's 'right to enrich uranium,' all of the countries in the Middle East will also talk about their 'right to enrich uranium,'" he said.

"At that moment, a crazy nuclear arms race will start that even the worst horror films ever made by Hollywood can't begin to describe it."

"Iran is not Japan or Germany, who have nuclear capabilities but are responsible and peaceful countries who have sound judgement and balances - things Iran does not have," he added.

Iran is a threat to the entire world and primarily to its nearest neighbors, Liberman said.

Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's "hate speech against Jews this week don't indicate on peaceful intentions on Iran's part," he added.

"We must not allow a situation in which Iran could turn, at any moment, to a country with a nuclear bomb," the foreign minister concluded.

Finally, Liberman discussed his views on the current peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Talking of a peace accord with the Palestinians while "the Middle East is burning" is "like trying to dig foundations for a building in the midst of an earthquake," he said, asserting that the time is not ripe at the moment for a diplomatic accord, because there is no real backing from the Arab world for that.

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