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Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni speaks in Tokyo
Photo: AFP
Livni: Halutz resignation admirable
Foreign minister tells Tokyo press conference IDF chief's move ' demands high standard of values,' thanks Japan for contributing to PA; 'way to strengthen moderates is through financial incentives,' she says
TOKYO - Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Thursday, “I have much respect for the IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. His resignation demands a high standard of values as an officer in the army and we, as well as our soldiers, can learn from this about responsibility. I believe his actions are admirable.”

 

Livni, who is currently visiting Japan, said regarding the challenges Israel faced following the investigation of its Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, "I have full belief in the law enforcement and justice system in Israel to make an independent inquiry.

 

"Meanwhile the Israeli government is going to meet challenges in the best way," she told reporters. 

 

Livni was received in Tokyo with a special gesture. A rare tape of former Prime Minister Golda Meir from 1962 was played in the hall in which Livni gave her speech.

 

The tape was recorded at precisely the same time, in the same hall, and at the same table over four decades ago. On the tape, Golda Meir was heard saying, “The only thing that scares me about this visit is meeting the press.”

 

'Nuclear arms threat not Israel’s private problem'

Foreign Minister Livni said that she too hoped to successfully deal with the challenge of meeting the press. “I can understand Golda’s vision,” Livni said to the hundreds of foreign correspondents who arrived at the Tokyo hall Thursday.

 

In her speech before the foreign press, Livni focused on the Iranian nuclear issue. “Israel’s image is that of an attacker, like David and Goliath. We, unfortunately, represent Goliath today.”

 

"We believe to begin with that there is a need for stronger sanctions and that the sanctions the international community adopted were a soft touch," Livni continued, “It is clear that the world cannot afford a nuclear Iran, that’s why further decisions must be made.”

 

Livni emphasized the difference between moderate Arab states and extremist ones, and continued to stress the importance of the international community’s role against the Iranian threat.

 

“Iran is a threat not just to Israel, but to the entire region,” Livni said.

 

“Its goal is not just to wipe Israel off the map, but to remake the entire region. The nuclear threat is not Israel’s private problem, but the problem of the entire international community.”

 

Livni expressed her appreciation for the fact that Japan is the biggest contributor to the Palestinian Authority with regards to financial aide and regional projects.

 

“The way to strengthen the moderates is through financial incentives combined with offering a diplomatic horizon to the Palestinian people,” Livni said.

 

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