'50-50 chance of talks.' Barak
Photo: AP
Ashton and Lieberman on Friday
Photo: AP
Barak: Palestinians shouldn't mind WB construction
Defense minister says settlement construction cannot fully stop due to 'reality, natural population growth,' but states 'Palestinians shouldn’t care – they'll get any house built on lands they get in talks'

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he believes the Americans will veto a Security Council decision to recognize a Palestinian state, even though they have not officially stated so.


In an interview with France 24 TV network, the defense minister expressed hope that the United States will manage to persuade the Quartet members to follow suit, but stated that Russia probably won't change its position.


"There's a 50-50 chance that negotiations will resume before September," he said. Referring to the French initiative to hold a peace conference in Paris, Barak said: "We will consider every initiative."


Trying to garner support. Abbas and Ashton (Photo: EPA)


The Independence Party leader noted that construction in the settlements can't be brought to a complete halt. "There's a reality on the ground and natural population growth. People need to build kindergartens.


'But why should the Palestinians care? If a building is constructed on land that will be transferred to them under a peace agreement, they will get the building, hence the issue if of no significance," he noted. 


On Friday, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is continuing his efforts to garner support for a Palestinian state.


According to PA official Saeb Eerekat, Abbas is in favor of renewing negotiations with Israel and is expecting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the construction in the settlements and Jerusalem.


"We call on the European Union to support the recognition of Palestine in the United Nations based on '67 lines," Erekat was quoted as saying.



פרסום ראשון: 06.18.11, 11:13
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