Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said his government would immediately get to work on Mideast peace issues, promising to present a diplomatic agenda in the coming weeks.
Speaking at the first meeting of his Cabinet, Netanyahu said he planned to appoint an inner Cabinet on Sunday to deal with the nation's most pressing security and political issues. "In the coming weeks, we shall complete our policy guidelines for progress on peace and security," he said, according to the AP.
Last week, the new Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman sparked controversy as soon as he took office with his comments on peace. In the foreign ministry handover ceremony on Wednesday, Lieberman said that the new government was not bound by a US-backed 2007 agreement to relaunch peace talks with the Palestinians at a conference in Annapolis, Maryland.
"There is only one document that binds us and it is not the Annapolis conference," Lieberman said. "Only the roadmap." "We will never agree to skip any of the stages -- and there are 48 of them -- and go straight to the last stage on negotiations on a permanent agreement."
The roadmap is a step-by-step international peace plan launched in 2003 under which Israel bound itself to the principle of a Palestinian state -- a concept that Netanyahu opposes.