(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman met on Tuesday evening (22 May) in London with Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague. At the meeting the two ministers discussed bilateral issues, increasing cooperation between the two states, the situation in the Middle East and the negotiations concerning Iran’s nuclear program.
FM Liberman said at the meeting that the Iranians are trying to project a more pleasant and calm atmosphere at the talks, but their goal is still the same: to obtain military nuclear capability. Although the sanctions are having some effect, they are not enough to bring about a genuine change in the situation. All one has to do is pay attention to the negative Iranian intervention in every possible place in the Middle East, Liberman said.
FM Liberman further said to Secretary Hague that a clear message must be conveyed to British universities, that there is no room for appeasing and pacifying small, vocal groups that threaten violence at the expense of the rights of Israelis to freely express their opinions on the campuses. Even if we would agree to divide Jerusalem and return to the last centimeter of the 1967 lines, the result would be the same as the results of the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip: rockets and terrorism aimed at Israel. The ones who are refusing to negotiate a just, sustainable agreement are the Palestinians. The Palestinian side under Abu Mazen's leadership is not a negotiating partner, said Liberman.
FM Liberman also reviewed the political changes in Israel and told Secretary Hague that this may be the first Israeli government to complete its term, and that this is a genuine opportunity to deal with subjects important to Israeli society, such as secular-ultra orthodox relations, the system of government, the economy, the place of minorities in Israeli society, illegal migration and infiltration into Israel.