Liberman at JPost Conference says he doesn't foresee last-ditch Obama effort on Mideast conflict

November 23, 2016 11:08
1 minute read.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman expressed a cautionary tone on Wednesday at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in the capital while addressing Israel's future relations with Donald Trump's incoming White House administration.

"I'm sorry to say I'm very realistic," he said whereas referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "optimistic" in terms of a drastic US policy change on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While apparently abiding by Netanyahu's orders to government officials to refrain from predicting policy and contacting the newly-elected US president, Liberman suggested waiting for the new administration to take office before discussing a new process.

"Today it is crucial to not create slogans and not create news, but give enough time to the administration - to the president elect - to create with us a new approach to the dispute with the Palestinians and [that over] Judea and Samaria," he told Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz in a question and answer session.

Speaking of what he sees as Israel's priorities once Trump takes office, Liberman said the first items on the agenda are the Iranian issue and the civil war in Syria, not necessarily that of reaching a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"It's clear that the Iranians are the biggest threat to stability around the world," he underlined.

Nonetheless, the added that "the president-elect has an intention to be active between the Israelis and Palestinians."

However, the defense minister said he did not foresee outgoing US President Barack Obama making a last ditch effort on the issue, such as spearheading a UN Security Council resolution, before he steps down.

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