Livni Abu Ala 311.
(photo credit: Itzki Edri)
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni met with former Palestinian prime minister Ahmed
Qurei at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel Sunday ahead of a conference at which both
Livni, a former foreign minister, had refrained from
meeting with Palestinian officials since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
formed his government because she had not wanted to be seen as undermining his
Livni: PM's blockade ease 'weak'
Livni and Qurei, also known as Abu Ala, engaged in
substantive talks when Livni was foreign minister, but her associates said
Sunday’s meeting had encompassed nothing more than “niceties.” Their speeches
were part of a conference titled “The Israeli-Palestinian Proximity Talks:
Lessons from Past Negotiations,” which was organized by Hebrew University’s
Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace in conjunction with the
Konrad Adenaur Stiftung group.
At the conference, Qurei said Netanyahu
had not really frozen West Bank settlement construction, and added that Israel’s
actions were preventing direct talks.
“I don’t think it is possible for
the Palestinians to begin direct negotiations without Israel freezing
settlements or at least commitments from the Americans on borders and security,”
He also complained that Netanyahu had deviated from the course
taken by the government in which Livni had served. “If there is no stable
policy, there will be no process,” he said.
During her own talk, Livni
mocked the Netanyahu government for not getting direct peace talks off
ground. She said the Annapolis talks, which took place while she was
minister, had not failed, explaining that they had been stopped by
“Less than two years ago, we met at this hotel a few times a
week,” she said, referring to her meetings with Qurei.
“The press wasn’t
here because it was not news. It was just the ongoing relations between
Israelis and Palestinians.
Now there are no talks about how to end the
Livni warned that while Israel would have to make concessions
for peace, the lack of peace would prove more costly.
“The price of not
having an agreement for Israel is higher than the price of having an
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