Lieberman rejects Fayad's plan for de-facto Palestinian state

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday told Quartet envoy Tony Blair and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana that bilateral initiatives, rather than unilateral steps taken by the Palestinian Authority, would promote peace in the region. "Palestinians' unilateral initiatives do not contribute to a positive dialogue between the parties, and if the unilateral initiative presented by [PA Prime Minister] Salaam Fayad is promoted, Israel will respond," Lieberman said, referring to a plan present by Fayad to establish a de-facto Palestinian state in the West Bank by the end of 2010. The foreign minister rejected the idea of setting a time-frame for an overall peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, which he said had "in the past given rise to disappointment and frustration," leading to conflict.