Mofaz warns: Don't negotiate with Abbas

Claims PA president lacks power to implement deal; on US report, says will of Iranians hasn't changed.

Abbas AP 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Abbas AP 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz warned Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in a speech to Kadima activists in Petah Tikva on Thursday that he should not negotiate with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, because he lacked the power to implement a deal. "I wouldn't discuss the core issues unless Abu Mazen had control over all the cities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip," Mofaz said. Regarding the recent US intelligence report downgrading the Iranian nuclear threat, Mofaz said that "the will of the Iranians has not changed, as far as I know, as the person in charge of the strategic dialogue with the United States on Iran." He said Iran was still preparing its nuclear capability and upgrading its ballistic capability. "We still need sanctions with all the options on the table. I hope this is what is decided in the next meeting of the strategic dialogue in Israel in January," continued the transportation minister. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni praised the Annapolis summit, saying: "On this [the Hanukka] holiday, as we remember the wars of the past, we are trying to prevent the wars of the future. But this time, we will not rely on a miracle." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised to help end the secondary school teachers strike. "I will not cease to be involved in this issue. I promise to use all my efforts and all my strength in order to restore the teachers' pride. I urge you [teachers] to sit with us and we will reach an agreement." Olmert told the Kadima activists.