FM denies threatening coalition over Palestinian UN bid

Lieberman says that there's no place for coalition infighting when we're going to UN; insists that "there won't be another settlement freeze."

September 21, 2011 08:59
1 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman [file]

Foreign Minsiter Avigdor Lieberman 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Uriel Sinai)


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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied a report published in Yedioth Ahronot Wednesday that said he threatened to break up the coalition if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not punish the Palestinian Authority for its United Nations statehood bid.

Speaking to Army Radio from New York, Lieberman said that there is no room for coalition squabbling at such a time when Israel is standing before the United Nations.

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The foreign minister did, however, say that in relation to any renewed peace talks with the Palestinians, that there will not be another settlement building freeze, "not even for a day." He called on Palestinians to return to negotiations without preconditions.

Last month, Lieberman came out in favor of scrapping the Oslo Accords if the PA went through with the move, and ending all cooperation with the PA.

Addressing Israeli diplomatic efforts to prevent Palestinians from being accepted as a full member-state in the United Nations Security Council, Lieberman said that "for the first time," Israel has a chance of stopping the process without the help of a United States veto.

Lieberman also denied saying that Israel would attack Turkish warships if they were dispatched near Israeli waters, which the Yedioth report quoted him as saying.

On Tuesday night, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told CNN that the establishment of a Palestinian state is "legitimate," and called on the Palestinians to immediately return to the negotiation table without preconditions, according to an Army Radio report.

Discussing peace negotiations, the defense minister said that "compromise will be painful, but I do not believe that it is impossible," according to the report.

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