Lieberman: 'Relations with Netanyahu are intact'

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 17, 2011 14:42

FM says he'll continue to work with PM despite disagreement over who would be the next ambassador to the UK.

1 minute read.



Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman 311 (do not publish again). (photo credit: Flash 90)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman attempted to dispel rumors that relations between him and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had soured, saying on Thursday that "our relations are intact."

"I spoke to the prime minister," after vetoing Uzi Arad, Netanyahu's choice for ambassador to London, Lieberman said. "We'll keep working together."

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Speaking before a meeting with the Cypriot foreign minister, he said that Arad "certainly has what to contribute within Israel."

Lieberman flexed his political muscles on Monday when he announced that he would not accept Netanyahu’s decision.

Netanyahu’s office had leaked to Sunday’s Yisrael Hayom newspaper that he had decided to appoint current ambassador to the United Kingdom Ron Prosor as the next ambassador to the United Nations and that Arad would replace Prosor in London.

Lieberman, who was enraged to learn about Arad’s appointment from the newspaper, called him and told him he was staying in Jerusalem.

“I don’t remember there ever being such massive interference on key appointments,” Lieberman said at a Knesset press conference. “I read with shock in one of the newspapers that it was the prime minister who decided to appoint Prosor and Arad. The prime minister doesn’t have to fight for credit. It does not befit him. I’ll consider his point of view, but all the decisions on appointments will be made solely by the foreign minister.”

Netanyahu declined to respond to Lieberman’s move when the Likud faction convened shortly thereafter. He also instructed his associates not to respond so as not to play into the hands of the foreign minister.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.


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