Lieberman calls to ratify road map

FM stresses need to formulate an inclusive plan; calls to treat Iran, N. Korea with 'iron hand'.

lieberman thinking 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
lieberman thinking 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday reiterated the need for a comprehensive Israeli stance on regional issues, and called upon the Israeli government to ratify the road map, despite its declared end result of Palestinian statehood. "The road map has logic to it and stages," the foreign minister explained on Army Radio. "It also has two key documents which determine how a Palestinian entity should be built. "We need to have an inclusive outlook and to progress gradually and with caution," he stressed. "What is important is the Israeli approach, not the American one. We must have a clear message for the Israeli public and international community. There is currently no clear message as to where Israeli policy is headed. "Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't rule out the road map," Lieberman continued, "which also has international validity, having been accepted by the US and the United Nations Security Council." When reminded that the road map contains a clause calling for a two-state solution, Lieberman responded that there was no real chance for the preconditions leading to such an entity to materialize. "I have said it in my voice more than once - if we reach European Union conditions, and the borders here will be like those of Italy, Switzerland and France - I would evacuate my home in [the West Bank settlement of] Nokdim," he said, "Unfortunately I don't see that happening, rather an opposite trend." Commenting on North Korea's nuclear tests, the foreign minister stressed the need to curb the dangerous nuclear aspirations of totalitarian states through firm, albeit diplomatic measures. "Attempts on the part of regimes such as North Korea and Iran to attain nuclear weapons must be taken care of with an iron fist," Lieberman said, "first by political and economic sanctions, which until this point have not been implemented. Both countries depend on fuel import since they have no refineries." The foreign minister, who is scheduled to travel to Moscow next week, reiterated that the meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Damascus on Saturday was "a severe mistake, especially when [the Russians] demand the international community refrains from meeting with Chechnya representatives." Justifying the controversial "Nakba Law" proposed by his Israel Beiteinu party, which would make it illegal to mark Israel's Independence Day as a day of mourning, Lieberman expounded that "It is unacceptable that state-funded institutions, such as Arab municipalities, hoist a black flag over their buildings on Independence Day and preach to hating Israel. There have been hundreds of cases involving Israeli Arabs collaborating in anti-Israeli terror activity." When asked whether such a bill would not stoke the fires of discontent among Israeli Arabs, Lieberman replied, "What is radicalizing the Arab street is our weakness and lack of ability to deal with the other side. We just keep on bending over and conceding, which brings upon more extremism."