PM to meet FM on secret Zurich meeting

Lieberman says party won't leave government over meeting with Turkey.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
July 1, 2010 16:02
2 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

lieberman imposing 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's communications adviser Nir Hefetz met with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Thursday in a meeting that Foreign Ministry sources say was scheduled prior to the beginning of the crisis between Lieberman and Netanayhu.

Lieberman is scheduled to meet with Netanayhu on Friday to discuss the latest developments in the affair in which Lieberman was not notified of a meeting in Zurich between Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu and Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer.

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Sources close to the Prime Minister said that Netanyahu hopes to convince Lieberman at Friday's meeting that the Foreign Minister was not updated on the Zurich meeting because of a technical problem, Israel Radio reported.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Radio on Thursday that he has no plans to leave the government over the prime minister's handling of the meeting Davutoglu and Ben-Eliezer, but that he was dissatisfied with the lack of notification he received before the event took place.

Lieberman stated in the interview that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) did attempt to reach him by phone regarding the meeting, but that he was never given the information due to "technical problems" and that this excuse from the PMO did not satisfy him.

The Foreign Ministry had contacted the Turks over their demands according to Lieberman after they canceled Israeli rights to fly over their air space. However, he stated that the government did not consult with the Foreign Ministry and did not follow normal protocol before sending Ben-Eliezer to the Zurich meeting.



"It cannot continue this way... There must be work done with great consideration before acting," said Lieberman.

He continued, "We have a stable coalition and no one has to think about leaving. No one has to think about headlines or survival."

Asked whether how he felt about being excluded from knowledge about the Zurich meeting, Lieberman responded, "no one promised me a rose garden. I am happy with what I am doing."

Minister of Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog on Thursday blamed sources close to Lieberman for leaking details regarding of a Zurich meeting between senior Israeli and Turkish officials.

Channel 2 had reported on Wednesday night that Ben-Eliezer and the Turkish foreign minister met secretly to try and repair Israeli-Turkish ties.

Herzog told Army Radio, "this [leak] certainly doesn't serve Israel's interests...it seems likely, in my opinion, that this came from someone close to the person insulted."

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