“A permanent agreement with the Palestinians is impossible in the current situation,” Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Tuesday evening, following three days of intense diplomatic talks.
Speaking at the dedication of the new Kadima branch in Netanya, Livni said the Palestinians were not adhering to the Quartet’s demands.
“(Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas is disappointing us,” she said, “especially with regard to the issue of Gilad Shalit’s release. He had a chance to condition the establishment of the unity government on the kidnapped soldier’s release, but he chose not to.”
However, the foreign minister also said that “all is not lost,” adding that two issues raised by US Secretary of State should be emphasized, as they clearly express the Israeli government’s stance.
“First of all it was agreed that we begin diplomatic dialogue that will protect our interests,” she said. “There are only winners in such a situation. We identified Israel’s and the Palestinians’ diplomatic horizon; there will be a return to the first phase of the Road Map, which demands that the Palestinians detach themselves from terror completely.”
The second issue, according to Livni, is Rice’s message that the normalization of ties between Israel and the Palestinian Authority can commence immediately.
“This would send a message of peace to the Palestinians and facilitate the diplomatic process,” she said. “This morning the secretary of state relayed a message to the Arab countries that Israel deserves a political horizon too. The recent developments symbolize hope on the one hand and our insistence on security principles on the other.”