avigdor lieberman 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
While Defense Minister Ehud Barak held high level diplomatic talks in
two weeks ago, and Industry, Labor and Trade Minister Binyamin
sent to meet Turkey’s foreign minister last week, Foreign Minister
Lieberman left on Sunday for a fiveday trip to Latvia, Finland and
The trip came just two days after Lieberman met with Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for 90 minutes to resolve a mini-crisis that
when it was reported that Netanyahu bypassed Lieberman and the Foreign
and sent Ben-Eliezer to talk to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Brussels to try and halt the deterioration in ties following the May 31
Lieberman issued a statement at the end of his meeting
with Netanyahu saying the two men agreed that the way the meeting with Davutoglu
was handled “was a mistake,” and that Netanyahu and Lieberman would continue to
work in full cooperation.
Lieberman issued a statement on Sunday
following his meeting in Riga with Latvian President Valdis Zatlers,
regional issues – including Iran and Turkey – were discussed with the
On Friday, in an interview on Channel 1, Netanyahu praised
Lieberman for taking the types of trips he set out for on Sunday
“Lieberman is doing a lot of things that the public doesn’t
appreciate, but which I do,” Netanyahu said, when asked if Lieberman was
suitable for the Foreign Ministry. “I think he is doing important work.
working in Central and Eastern Europe, in Africa, in places where we
worked for many years. I value him.”
Lieberman’s frequent trips to
Central and Eastern Europe, according to diplomatic officials, are
shore up Israel’s position in the EU, where smaller countries like
Lithuania have the same vote inside the various EU forms as Germany,
France. Two weeks ago, working on the same principle, Lieberman traveled
Malta, which is also a member of the EU.
In a statement put out by
Lieberman following his meeting with the Latvian president, the foreign
praised the “fair and balanced” position that Latvia has taken toward
inside the EU.
Lieberman said that Israel was still struggling for its
independence and survival, something that Eastern European countries
recently emerged from the shadow of the Soviet Union could understand
than other European countries.
Lieberman also took part in a government
Holocaust Day commemoration in Latvia and said anti-Semitism
on different guises, with being anti-Israel the most recent one. This is
something that must not be accepted, he said, adding that the lesson for
that they must always be ready to defend themselves.