Liberman: Two states will be principle of next gov't

Yisrael Beytenu leader denies reports that his party will split with Likud following the elections.

January 6, 2013 10:40
1 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman [file]

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


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Avigdor Liberman said Sunday that he always supported Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Bar-Ilan Speech accepting a two-state solution, and that the speech would also be the principle of the next government.

"Bar-Ilan was a really important speech," he said.

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Continuing his months-long attack against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, however, the former foreign minister said Israel is content waiting for a suitable partner on the Palestinian side. "We're willing to wait," he told Israel Radio.

"We need to explain to the world that if there is a peace refusenik, it is [Abbas]," Liberman added, saying a number of times that the current government, in which he served as foreign minister, knew very well how to stand up to international diplomatic pressure.

His comments were along the same vein as Prime Minister Netanyahu's comments to Israel Radio earlier Sunday, in which he accused Abbas of stalling negotiations.

Netanyahu said any agreement must include Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, a declaration of an end to the conflict, and a demilitarized Palestinian state. He clarified that these terms would be the outcome of negotiations, but were not preconditions to the starting of the negotiations. It is the Palestinians, not Israel, which has put pre-conditions on the talks, he said.

Liberman also harshly criticized an article in the Haaretz daily that quoted his party's spokesman saying the unity deal between Yisrael Beytenu and Likud would break apart following the January 22 elections.

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The unity deal between the two factions continues to exist and is successful, the Yisrael Beytenu party leader said. According to the agreement signed between the two parties and presented to the Central Elections Committee, "the unification of the factions will be decided a month after the elections."

"The issue is a technical matter," he added.

Asked whether he intends to seek to head the Foreign Ministry in the next government, assuming Likud-Beytenu forms the coalition and pending the conclusion of legal proceedings against him, Liberman said he is not ruling anything out, implying that he may seek another ministerial position.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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