Lieberman with flag 248 88 aj.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi [file])
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday denied a connection between progress in restarting peace talks with Syria and the Golan Heights and Jerusalem Referendum Bill, which was slated for discussion in the Knesset the same day.
In an interview with Army Radio, the foreign minister opined that the decision on whether or not to begin negotiations is not in Israel's hands, but rather hinges on Syrian President Bashar Assad's internal interests.
"Every move to advance negotiationsâ€¦ jeopardizes the [Syrian] government and Assad's dynasty," Lieberman said. "As such, everything he says about negotiations and about peace is simply rhetoric."
The foreign minister's comments came the day after a late-night decision Tuesday by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation ensured coalition support for the controversial Golan Heights and Jerusalem Referendum Bill.
The bill would require a majority vote to approve any withdrawal from east Jerusalem or the Golan, areas that are under Israeli sovereignty.
On Tuesday night, Likud officials also denied any connection between the bill and announcements Monday by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he was prepared to renew talks with Syria.
Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report
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