Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday praised US Secretary of State John Kerry for his efforts to advance negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on Thursday, saying that Israel was serious in its intentions to reach an agreement.
Speaking after a meeting with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Liberman called on the Palestinians to do their part to advance the peace talks and abstain from taking unilateral actions in international bodies that only serve to hurt efforts to reach a diplomatic accord.
Video by Tovah Lazaroff
Liberman said that Israel is an "island of stability" in the rapidly transforming Middle East and expressed to his Chinese counterpart Israel's concerns over Iran's drive for nuclear weapons, as well as the Islamic Republic's missile development and its part in spreading terror in the region.
"When the Iranians talk about the destruction of Israel, they mean it, and we take it seriously," Liberman stated.
Liberman praised his Chinese counterpart for visiting Israel, calling the trip an additional step toward increasing cooperation and bilateral relations between Beijing and Jerusalem.
"We agreed to soon sign an agreement between our countries to mutually cancel the need for a visa for those holding diplomatic passports and service passports."
Liberman said that easing visa restrictions between the countries would encourage business and tourism ties between the countries.
Wang's meeting with Liberman followed a meeting with President Shimon Peres earlier on Thursday and a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.