Avigdor Lieberman and Alain Juppe 311.
(photo credit: Erez Lichtfeld)
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, who said last week that the EU should keep
in mind the possibility of recognizing a Palestinian state, told Foreign
Minister Avigdor Lieberman Thursday in Paris that France viewed Israel’s
security as “non-negotiable,” but added that the current status quo was
According to the French media, Juppe, meeting Lieberman for
the first time since becoming France’s foreign minister last month, expressed
France’s solidarity with Israel following Wednesday’s bombing in
Western air strikes continue to hit Tripoli
'PA police arrest 2 Islamic Jihad members for J'lem attack'
Before the meeting, Juppe told reporters that he would tell
Lieberman that given the dramatic changes in the region, the current status quo
was unsustainable, and that it was time for change. He called on Israel to
“regain the initiative.”
He also said the EU would step up pressure so
the sides would resume negotiations.
Lieberman, meanwhile, issued a
statement saying that in his meeting with Juppe, he said the Palestinian
Authority was expending a great deal of effort and showing willingness to
reconcile with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but “not showing any willingness to
enter direct negotiations with Israel.”
Lieberman said the recent
escalation in violence, including Wednesday’s bombing in Jerusalem and the
recent murder of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, was a result of
“institutionalized incitement by the Palestinian Authority against
He warned of stepped-up efforts by “radical forces” to smuggle
weapons into Gaza, and said the arms, munitions and military equipment seized on
the Victoria ship last week was not an isolated incident.
for France’s unequivocal condemnation of the terror attack in Jerusalem,
Lieberman said the terrorists were fighting the West without making any
distinction of nationalities. He pointed out that kidnapped soldier Gilad
Schalit, as well as Ruth Fogel, the mother murdered in Itamar, held French
Turning to regional issues, Lieberman told Juppe that Israel
welcomed the West’s determined position to protect civilians in Libya from the
brutality of its ruler, Muammar Gaddafi. Those same principles, he added, should
not be applied selectively, but should also guide Western policy toward Syria
and Iran, where opponents of those regimes are being mercilessly killed.
Besides, Lieberman said, the foreign policies of those countries vis-à-vis Iran
and Syria’s negative influence in the region are “much more dangerous” than that
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