Livni: Gov't deaf to signs there's a peace partner

Former FM says she called Abbas to thank him for saying publicly what he said in closed negotiations after Channel 2 interview.

Tzipi Livni with Mahmoud Abbas OLD 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Amr Dalsh)
Tzipi Livni with Mahmoud Abbas OLD 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Amr Dalsh)
There are some members of the current government who do not want to listen to the Palestinians because it would undermine their assertion that there is no partner for peace, former foreign minister Tzipi Livni said Sunday.
Speaking with Army Radio, Livni said she called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after he at least partially conceded a right of return for Palestinian refugees in an interview to Israeli television Friday.
Recalling her days of conducting negotiations with Abbas, Livni said she was not surprised to hear those words coming from his mouth. "I was happy to hear him say the same things in public that we heard in [private]."
Livni, who has been rumored to be considering a return to politics in the upcoming elections, said she believes reaching an agreement with the Palestinians is possible.
The belief in Israel that the Palestinian leadership refused to sign numerous generous offers from Israel is not based on the accounts of those who sat in negotiations that took place, she said. "The negotiations ended before we reached a point that something could be signed."
The round of talks she was involved in, which ended in early 2009, were delayed due to Israeli elections, after which the personalities and coalition conducting negotiations was relegated to the opposition.