Livni 'lays down the bottom line' in UN meetings

Ambassador: Meetings allowed Israel to communicate its point of view on region's situation after war.

By MICHAL LANDO
September 22, 2006 01:03
2 minute read.
Livni 'lays down the bottom line' in UN meetings

livni un 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

Meetings conducted in and around the General Assembly session this week were "very important," according to the Israeli mission to the UN. The delegation said Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was able to "lay down the bottom line" on key issues facing Israel and the Middle East. Livni's week began in Washington, where she met with senior administration officials, including President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Next came an intense series of meetings with many of the world's foreign ministers, including those of Egypt, Jordan and Qatar, as well as with leaders of the US Jewish community. The meetings allowed Israel to communicate its point of view on the situation in the region after the war, said Ambassador Daniel Carmon, the deputy chief of Israel's mission to the UN. In her speech to the General Assembly on Wednesday, Livni said the international community needed to stand up to Iran, which she said posed the greatest threat to the world's values. "They deny and mock the Holocaust," she said. "They speak proudly and openly of their desire to wipe Israel off the map. And now, by their actions, they pursue the weapons to achieve this objective, to imperil the region and to threaten the world." After meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas earlier in the week, Livni was hopeful about a renewal of dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians. The only way to resolve the conflict was through bilateral negotiations, she said. Israel's Consul-General in New York Arye Mekel said Livni told world leaders in her meetings that any PA government, including a Hamas-Fatah coalition, would need to accept the international community's conditions to be recognized as legitimate and receive direct aid: to stop terrorism, and to recognize Israel and previous agreements with the Palestinians. "The bottom line is, do they accept the conditions?" said Mekel. "If they don't accept the agreements then we are back at square one." Abbas was "understanding" of Israel's position in the meeting, Mekel said, but as many have come to understand over the years, "understanding" was not enough. "It is not about what he understands," Mekel said. "The question is, can he deliver?" There was also much discussion about Security Council Resolution 1701, which led to the cease-fire between Israel and Hizbullah. The resolution also calls for a demilitarized buffer zone between the UN-drawn Blue Line border and the Litani River. "The message this week was, '1701 is a good Resolution, but everything depends on implementation, because if we leave it like Resolution 1559, it will be worthless,'" Merkel said. Livni, who was to fly back to Israel Thursday night, spent her last day in New York attending a Global Initiative meeting with former US president Bill Clinton.


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