Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman
met with Israeli ambassadors to the European Union in Vienna on Friday and Sunday.
In the meetings, Lieberman, ambassadors and senior foreign ministry envoys discussed the Palestinian bid
at the UN to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority to a "non-member state" status.
The ambassadors presented the positions held by the countries in which they serve and expressed their opinions in regards to a desired response to the Palestinians' UN bid.
Minister Lieberman and his office presented the ambassadors with an analysis regarding the ramifications for Israel
in case the bid was accepted and the following diplomatic consequences.
The foreign minister is expected to discuss the desired diplomatic responses at a meeting with the prime minister and decision makers.
Lieberman told the Israeli diplomats that during the current administration's term, Israel appealed to the PA many times, in hopes of renewing peace talks, but the Palestinians chose to ignore Israel's diplomatic efforts.
The foreign minister added that the Palestinians were not interested in any form of negotiations but were rather utilizing their diplomacy to slander Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
noted Sunday that negotiations were the only way to resolve the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including borders, Jerusalem,
security, water and the right of return. "But… we have no other way to fight the settlements and to save the two-state solution except to appeal to the international institutions that were formed for the purpose of keeping international security and preventing occupation."
Speaking at a ceremony marking the eighth anniversary of former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat,
Abbas said that "We will go to the UN even though (Israel) doesn’t want us to. We are not interested in discrediting Israel's legitimacy, but we do want to debunk the settlements' legitimacy."
The deputy prime minister nonetheless denounced Abbas for not having condemned the constant rockets fired from Gaza
toward Israel in recent days.
Such state of affairs, Lieberman stressed, raises the question of who Abbas in fact represents within the Palestinian people, to what extent is he accountable to what goes on in his region, and will there be any value to an agreement with him?
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