(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman met on Wednesday morning (1 February) in Jerusalem with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and with the President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick. Subjects were discussed relating to political and economic issues on a regional as well as a global level.
FM Liberman told Sec-Gen Ban Ki-Moon that Israel appreciates the stand he took and the unequivocal message he expressed against the unilateral measures taken by the Palestinians at the UN. Liberman said that these measures do not promote the diplomatic process, and the impression is that the Palestinians are only interested in announcing the failure of the talks in Amman in order to continue the unilateral moves.
At the meeting, FM Liberman warned that if Iran takes control of Iraq, creating a continuum of states under Iranian influence - Iraq-Syria-Lebanon - Israel and Jordan will be faced with a great challenge. This reality would endanger regional stability and harm world security.
In his meeting with World Bank President Zoellick, FM Liberman said that only economic development and the creation of a strong middle class in the Palestinian Authority, together with stability and a calm security environment will be able to bring about a true peace in which Israel and the Palestinians can live side by side. That is the direction on which to focus and not on artificial attempts to bring about agreements that are not based on the reality on the ground and will in the end make the situation worse.