Lieberman and Mashaal won't meet in Russia
The goal of Lieberman's trip is to persuade the Russian leadership to stop building the Iranian Bushehr nuclear reactor and the transfer of arms to Hizbullah.
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
February 26, 2007 02:12
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal will be in Moscow at the same time on Monday but Lieberman's spokesman said on Sunday they have no plans to meet.
Lieberman left on Sunday for meetings in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir's Putin's diplomatic adviser, Sergei Prikhodko, his defense minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, and the head of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency, Sergei Kiriyenko.
The goal of the trip is to persuade the Russian leadership to stop building the Iranian nuclear reactor in Bushehr and the transfer of arms to Hizbullah.
Lieberman will also take with him a letter from the families of kidnapped IDF soldiers Gilad Schalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.
Lieberman will ask the Russian leaders to pressure Mashaal to bring about the soldiers' release from captivity. Schalit is being held in the Gaza Strip by Mashaal's Hamas gunman, while Goldwasser and Regev were abducted by Hizbullah.
But Lieberman's advisers said that was the only connection between the two men's visits to the Russian capital.
"It's more than safe to assume that they won't meet unless they happen to be staying in the same hotel and meet in the elevator," a Lieberman adviser said.