FM Avigdor Liberman with Austrian FM Sebastian Kurz.
(photo credit: YOSSI ZAMIR)
Israel is interested in negotiating with the Palestinians anywhere and any place, but the other side cannot come every day with “new threats,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday.
Liberman’s comments at a Jerusalem press conference with visiting Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz were in response to Palestinian threats to dissolve the Palestinian Authority if the current talks collapse.
The deadline for the negotiations expires next Tuesday.
Liberman said that the decision whether or not to dissolve the PA was a Palestinian one to make, and that Israel did not plan to intervene in the matter. With that, Liberman said Israel was prepared for any scenario.
The foreign minister again took the EU to task for what he deems warped priorities, pointing out that on the same day that EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemned Israel last week for allowing Jews to move into a home legally purchased in Hebron, 874 people were killed in Syria, Iraq and other countries in the region.
“Israel is an island of stability and prosperity in the Middle East, in a hurricane of bloodshed and violence,” he said. “We expect more understanding and more support for the one small democracy in this huge ocean of terror and bloodshed.”
Austria’s foreign minister is scheduled to visit Iran at the end of the week, and Liberman – when asked about that visit – made clear what Israel thinks of such trips.
“As you can guess, I really am not happy with any visit to Iran, it is not our policy to encourage visits to Iran, but at the end of the day it is the decision of any country and any ministry of foreign affairs,” he said.
“We feel that Iran is the same Iran.”
Kurz said that Austria’s position was clear: “Iran must not get nuclear arms, and they will not be permitted to build those types of weapons. It is also forbidden to weaken the sanctions if there is no agreement. We will stress those points in Iran.”