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'Palestinian state declaration means the end of talks'
By JPOST.COM STAFF
17/06/2011
Lieberman to Ashton: Oslo Accords will be voided if PA declares state; Ashton's spokesman: September is nearing; sides must resume talks.
 
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a meeting with his EU counterpart Catherine Ashton on Friday that if the Palestinians unilaterally declare statehood, it will bring an end to the Oslo Accords.

"A move like that will be a violation of all the agreements that were signed until today," Lieberman said. "Israel will no longer be committed to the agreements signed with the Palestinians in the past 18 years."

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He added: "In light of [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas's current stance, the chances for negotiations are zero."

"Abbas is not interested in an agreement," the foreign minister explained. "He wants conflict, because that is his personal interest, even though it is against the Palestinians' interest, and many oppose him."

"Israel is prepared to renew negotiations. The ball is in the Palestinians' court," Lieberman said.

Ashton arrived in Israel on Friday after visiting Jordan.

According to her spokesman, Ashton came to Israel to urge all sides to return to the negotiating table.

In an official statement, the spokesman said, "We are well aware that September is fast approaching. With the events of the Arab Spring and following President Obama's speech, it is more urgent than ever to engage in meaningful negotiations and move the Peace Process forward."

The statement added, "The EU's position on this is clear, as set out in Council conclusions. That is the message [Ashton] passed on very clearly in her meeting with Minister Liberman."

Ashton is expected to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday. She is also set to meet with opposition head Tzipi Livni and Palestinian officials.
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