Lieberman. 'We won't resign from government'
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Arad. 'Won't be London ambassador'
Photo: Ori Porat
Prosor. 'PM shouldn't fight over credit'
Photo: AP

PM, FM at odds over UK envoy post

Lieberman slams Netanyahu's decision to appoint National Security Advisor Uzi Arad as Israel's ambassador in London. 'There are enough seasoned diplomats in the Foreign Service who can do the job,' he says; stresses decisions on these matters 'up to foreign minister alone'

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that he has disagreements with the prime minister but that his party has no intention of withdrawing from the coalition. He added that National Security Advisor Uzi Arad would not be appointed ambassador to London as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided.


In an Yisrael Beiteinu faction meeting, the foreign minister commented on the appointment of Ron Prosor as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations. He said that he was behind the appointment and slammed the prime minister.


"There has never been such massive intervention on the subject of a UN ambassador or Israeli consul in New York. I informed the prime minister I was not willing to delay the matter further. Immediately after the Gilad Erdan issue didn’t pan out, I announced I was going to appoint one of three possible candidates within a week and that I was going to appoint Ron Prosor.


"I read that the prime minister decided he was appointing him for the NY post and Uzi Arad for London. The prime minister shouldn't fight over credit. It's inappropriate. All the ambassadors and decisions will be left up to the foreign minister alone."


Lieberman also commented on the appointment of National Security Advisor Uzi Arad as the London ambassador and said a person from within the Foreign Service would be a better choice.


"The appointment of ambassadors will be in accordance with tradition. Prosor is going to New York. I highly esteem Arad but he will not be the London ambassador, simple as that. I'm sorry we're at this place but there is no room for speculation. There are enough seasoned diplomats at the Foreign Service who can do this job."


'We won't resign from gov't'

Lieberman said he won't use his immunity in case an indictment is filed against him.  "I wasn't born foreign minister and I won't hold on to any seat," he said.


The foreign minister also referred to the fact that two years had elapsed since the Knesset elections. "It is the best time to take stock," he said and noted some of the bills proposed by his party members. Lieberman also said he has no intention of resigning from the government. "I said this dozens of times. We're a responsible party and weigh everything seriously. We have behaved this way for the past two years. "


Liberman listed the status of the various bills the party promoted. "The civil marriage bill – it has yet to be completed. The conversion bill passed preliminary reading in 2009. Then the prime minister asked to freeze the process until January 1, 2011 and then there was another freeze request for six months. The government passed the loyalty oath bill in October 2010 without first reading. The same goes for the military conversion bill."


The foreign minister said he didn't expect all of his demands to be met. "One can't have 100%, but 70%-80%. It is unacceptable that only one side will have veto power over all bills. I hope they take this under consideration and we will realize there is a coalition agreement that must be met. A word is a word."



פרסום ראשון: 02.14.11, 15:27
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