WASHINGTON – Finance Minister Yair Lapid
met Thursday with US Vice President Joe Biden,
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and White House Middle East Coordinator Phil Gordon at the White House.
Lapid is visiting Washington,
DC for the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.
According to the White House, the meeting revolved around recent developments with regard to Iran,
Israel’s negotiations with the Palestinians,
and the importance of strengthened economic cooperation between Israel
and the Palestinian Authority.
Lapid, Biden at White House (Photo: Shmulik Almani)
Speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy earlier Thursday, Lapid stressed that an agreement with the Palestinians should include a set timeline, supervised by the United States.
He noted that the two nations were engaged in "two monologues" rather than in "dialogue," adding that mediation was necessary.
He stressed that the only solution for the lengthy conflict was the establishment of two states.
Earlier this month, Lapid scriticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand that Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state be a condition for a future peace deal.
"I don’t think we need a declaration from the Palestinians that they recognize Israel as the Jewish state," the minister told Charlie Rose in an interview for the Bloomberg network on Wednesday. "My father did not come to Haifa from the Budapest ghetto to be recognized by Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas).
"Yes, I want Israel to be a Jewish state," Lapid told his interviewer. "But the reason I think the two-state solution is the only offer on the table is that if we continue to rule over three or four million Palestinians Israel's identity will fade away. Therefore we have to separate ourselves from the Palestinians."
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