Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is not truly interested in reaching an agreement with Israel, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday.
Speaking from Cyprus, Lieberman said the PA prefers to blame Israel for its problems rather than solve them. He added: “Threats of unilateral actions are unacceptable.” All questions and issues should be discussed between the parties via direct talks, without preconditions, said Lieberman.
Lieberman’s comments followed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with a Palestinian delegation led by Saeb Erekat, the senior Palestinian negotiator. During the meeting, the Palestinians passed a letter from Abbas to the Israeli premier setting out his terms for resuming negotiations. Netanyahu’s office said it would respond within two weeks.
Lieberman is in Cyprus for a three-day visit together with high-level officials from the Foreign Ministry and the national water company, Mekorot. He met with Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, Foreign Minister Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, and Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoklis Sylikiotis.
The countries are discussing energy cooperation and emergency regional assistance, and they are reportedly close to signing an agreement on joint development of gas deposits that have been discovered in their respective, exclusive economic zones.
In February, Netanyahu made a landmark visit to Cyprus for talks with Christofias, during which the two countries signed an agreement to coordinate maritime search and rescue operations.
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