Livni: Europe's position against Iran must be resolute

In meeting with Catherine Ashton, opposition leader says "world will no longer accept Teheran's lagging in attempt to obtain nukes."

January 5, 2011 16:43
1 minute read.
Livni close up 311

Livni close up 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Wednesday met with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton in Jerusalem, and said that "Europe's position against Iran must be resolute so that Iran understands that the world will no longer accept Teheran's shuffling around and lagging in an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons."

"European interests are clear and things should be said clearly and sharply right now," Livni added.

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The two leaders also discussed the need to advance Israeli negotiations with the Palestinians.

Ashton said overnight Tuesday that there is "no alternative to a negotiated deal," ahead of her trip to Israel on Wednesday.

"Urgent progress is now needed towards a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace and the European Union will continue to support all efforts towards that goal," Ashton said.

"There is no alternative to a negotiated solution. We want to see the State of Israel and a sovereign and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security," she continued.

Ashton's expected visit comes after diplomatic activity began anew on Tuesday with a meeting in Jerusalem between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Quartet envoy Tony Blair. The meeting following a more than weeklong hiatus in international involvement in the diplomatic process because of the Christmas and New Year holidays.

On Thursday, Netanyahu is scheduled to travel to Sharm e-Sheikh for a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak dealing with ways to break the current diplomatic stalemate. Netanyahu will be accompanied on that visit by Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who is considered to have good relations with the Egyptians. Ben- Eliezer, a Labor party minister, threatened earlier this week that his party would quit the government in two months in the absence of any meaningful diplomatic process.

White House senior advisor Dennis Ross is expected to arrive for further talks in the coming days. Ross was last here some two weeks ago.

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