Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday denied a connection between the Golan Heights and Jerusalem Referendum Bill, which was slated for discussion in the Knesset the same day, and progress in restarting peace talks with Syria.
In an interview with Army Radio, the foreign minister opined that the decision on whether or not to begin negotiations is not in Israel's hands, but rather hangs on Syrian President Bashar Assad's internal interests.
"Every move to advance negotiationsâ€¦ jeopardizes the [Syrian] government, and Assad's regime," Lieberman said. "As such, everything he says about negotiations and about peace is simply rhetoric."
The foreign minister's comments came the day after a late-night decision Tuesday by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation ensured coalition support for the controversial Golan Heights and Jerusalem Referendum Bill.