ISRAELI NEW GOVERNMENT DOESN'T WANT PEACE WITH PALESTINE

PanARMENIAN.Net
02.04.2009 13:48 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Israel's new foreign minister said Wednesday that
the government is not bound by the agreement reached at the Annapolis
conference in the US in 2007, which provides for a Palestinian state.

Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu
party, made the remarks at a handover ceremony at the foreign ministry
on Wednesday, the day after a new broad coalition government was
sworn in.

"There is one document that obligates us - and that's not the Annapolis
conference, it has no validity," he said. "The Israeli government
never ratified Annapolis, nor did parliament."

At the conference, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed
to further "the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine" in peace
negotiations with the Palestinians. He said that instead, Israel
would follow a course charted by a U.S.-backed peace "road map".

It also obligated Israel to freeze all settlement expansions on
occupied Palestinian land.

Asked about Lieberman's comments, a political source close to Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyau said the remarks largely reflected the
new leader's position.

Netanyahu's government was sworn in on Tuesday.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Wednesday that Israel's new
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not believe in peace and urged
world leaders to pile pressure on him.

"Benjamin Netanyahu never believed in a two-state solution or accepted
signed agreements and does not want to stop settlement activity. This
is obvious," Abbas told the official Palestinian news agency.

"We have to tell the world that this man does not believe in peace,
so how should we deal with him? Let's put the ball in the world's court
so that it puts pressure on him and assumes its responsibilities."

Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,
also said in response to Lieberman's remarks that Washington "should
take a clear position against this policy before things get worse".

The United States must oppose an assertion by Israel's new government
that it is not bound by the 2007 Annapolis accord calling for
establishment of a Palestinian state, Rdainah said.

"This is a challenge to the international community and to the United
States that adopted the two-state solution," said Nabil Abu Rdainah,
spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"The international community should respond to these provocations
that may undermine security and stability in this region."

Palestine and Israel formally launched US-backed peace talks in
November 2007 but the negotiations made little visible progress before
Israeli 22-day offensive into Gaza that killed 1434 Palestinians.

The European Union last week warned of consequences if the new
government does not commit itself to the principle of the two-state
solution, saying relations would become "very difficult."

Israel committed itself to a two-state solution in the 2003 roadmap
agreement, which calls on Israel to stop settlement expansions,
BBC reports.