Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman met on Wednesday evening (4 December 2013) with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations in New York. During the meeting, they discussed the agreement signed between the P5+1 and Iran, the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, developments in the Middle East, and relations between Israel and the United Nations.
FM Liberman said that Israel's concern regarding the agreement signed with Iran is based on real facts. Just a day before the agreement was signed, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei likened Israel and the Jews to an untouchable rabid dog, and said that Israel is destined to vanish. Today, we continue to witness Iranian activity undermining world stability - in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere. Several weeks ago, an Iranian operative planning to kill the Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan was arrested in Baku.
FM Liberman noted that the agreement with Syria included real steps to remove and destroy its chemical weapons, unlike Iran which is not prepared to relinquish its nuclear ambitions.
With regard to the talks with the Palestinians, FM Liberman said that the Palestinian approach is harming the chances to advance negotiations through unilateral action to gain acceptance to 16 UN-related bodies. Moreover, their public statements that they are only waiting for the release of another group of prisoners before withdrawing from the talks are leading the talks to an impasse. FM Liberman asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to act to alter the Palestinian approach.
FM Liberman noted that the settlements constitute in total only 1.5% of the land in Judea and Samaria, and do not constitute an obstacle to peace but rather an excuse for those who do not want peace.
FM Liberman noted that Israel has taken a difficult decision to resume cooperation with the UN Human Rights Council, in the hope that its activity will be more balanced, at least with regard to the Western states.
The meeting was cordial, and the Secretary General congratulated Liberman on his return to the position of Foreign Minister.