Livni. Limit dialogue with Iranians
Photo: Eli Mandelbaum
Peres. Softening meeting
Photo: Mark Neiman, GPO

Livni leaves for US, says 2 states needed

Opposition leader to present members of Pro-Israel lobby in Washington with her faith in 'two states for two people,' but does not plan to 'present the Netanyahu government as illegitimate'

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni plans to present members of America pro-Israel lobby and senior US Congress officials with her faith in the "two states for two people" solution, but does not intend to attack the Netanyahu government while abroad, the Kadima chairwoman told Ynet on Saturday night, shortly before leaving for Washington.


During her visit to the United States, Livni is expected to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference and meet there with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden.


"My address to the representatives of the pro-Israel lobby at the American Congress will focus on the Iranian threat, alongside the threat of terror by Hizbullah and Hamas. On this matter there is no disagreement between myself and the Netanyahu government. The dispute between us is on the Palestinian issue.


"I will present my stance, that there is a need for two states for two people and an agreement for two nation states, as the other options are bad for Israel, but I have no intention to present the Netanyahu government as illegitimate," she clarified.


Addressing the Iranian nuclear issue, the opposition chairwoman clarified that like Defense Minister Ehud Barak, she believes the American dialogue with Tehran must be limited.


"There is no doubt this should be done, followed by the imposition of sanctions. Iran is Israel's top priority," said Livni. "The threats facing the State must be handled, but nonetheless, we must continue talking to the pragmatic elements, including the moderate Palestinians. This is not a condition requiring the handling of the Palestinian issue in order to advance the world's handling of the Iranian issue."


During her visit to Washington, Livni is expected to meet with senior members of the Obama administration, including National Security Advisor Jim Jones and special Mideast delegate George Mitchell. She will also meet with senior Congress officials, and will return to Israel following a short visit to New York.


President Shimon Peres also left for Washington on Saturday night for a "softening meeting" with US President Barack Obama ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the White House on May 18.


Peres will also meet with Biden, Clinton, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations John Kerry and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He is also expected to meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.


Peres' office said that during his meeting with Obama on Tuesday, the president is expected to raise the options facing Israel in terms of advancing the peace process with the Palestinians. The two leaders are also expected to discuss the global effort to thwart the Iranian nuclear project, the global financial crisis and kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.


פרסום ראשון: 05.03.09, 09:43
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