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Lieberman (R) and Saltanov
Photo: Flash 90
Lieberman: Israel still forming its foreign policy
Foreign minister meets with Russian deputy minister for Middle Eastern affairs, asks for clarifications on Russian weapons supply to Iran, Syria
Israel's foreign policy has yet to be determined, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said during a meeting Friday with Russian Deputy Foreign minister for Middle Eastern Affairs Alexander Saltanov.

 

The remark was made on the backdrop of Lieberman's firm declarations that the Annapolis peace process is no longer valid.

 

The foreign minister promised the Russian official that once Israel were to form its stance on the Palestinian issue, it would be presented in full to the international committee.

 

The two also discussed the Russians' plan to host a Mideast summit in Moscow, and agreed that there was need for full cooperation and thorough preparations in terms of the composition of the conference's participants, its agenda and objectives.

 

Saltanov and Lieberman went on to talk about a number of regional issues and Iran's negative influence as an element destabilizing the Middle East and supporting terror organizations.

 

At the start of the meeting, the foreign minister asked for clarifications on Russia's policy of supplying weapons to countries in the region. It was unclear whether Saltanov briefed Lieberman on the supply of advanced systems to Iran and Syria, such as a land-air missile system discussed recently.

 

Lieberman expressed his reservations over the Russian initiative to hold a special discussion on the Middle East at the United Nations Security Council, which would be attended by ministers, before the new Israeli government formed its policy.

 

"Experience shows that such discussions only serve as a stage to criticize Israel and nothing more," the foreign minister said.

 

During the meeting, the two also discussed bilateral issues related to efforts to tighten the good relations between the two countries. According to the foreign minister's office, both sides expressed their satisfaction with the cooperation and relations between the two countries, but said they sought to expand the cooperation in the economic field, particularly in terms of high-tech and technology.

 

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