Israel FM to meet with Russia, US counterparts over stalled peace talks
Israel's Foreign Minister is scheduled to meet with his U.S. and Russian counterparts in Rome over the ongoing deadlock in the latest round of Israel-Palestine peace talks, according to Agence France Presse Thursday.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's spokesman told the media that "The minister will meet [U.S. Secretary of State] John Kerry and [Russia's Foreign Minister] Sergei Lavrov [in Rome]."
Before travelling, Lieberman "accused" the Palestinian negotiation team of "undermining" the peace talks, but also emphasized "the importance of continuing the talks and managing the conflict, even if it cannot be resolved."
Lieberman's commentary follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech at a U.S. AIPAC meeting that was described by international media reports as effectively ending the ongoing peace talks between Israel and Palestine when the Jewish leader stated that the Palestinians should recognize a Jewish state and that Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas should "abandon the fantasy" of the right to return.
Kerry has been very involved in the talks since their launch last July, and is attempting to reach an agreement with the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to extend the talks past the end of April deadline.
While Russia's Lavrov will join the talks, Lieberman emphasized that any discussion on Russia and Ukraine will be off the table and that Israel will maintain its neutral stance.
- "Ideological differences" in Israeli gov't over settlements, stalling peace plan - Livni
- French FM meets with Abbas, Netanyahu over peace negotiations
- Palestinian-Israeli peace talks to be held August 14 in Jerusalem
- Mubarak warns Israel over stalled peace talks
- Russian Foreign Minister Meets Tunisian Counterpart