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svgadminsvgSeptember 24, 2011svgNews

Lieberman: Abbas Running Away from Responsibility

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is running away from responsibility to reach an agreement with Israel, Foreign Minister Lieberman says as the United Nations prepares to discuss his bid for recognition for the Palestinian Authority.

He told Voice of Israel government radio that Abbas’s refusal to talk with Israel for two years, his then going to the United Nations and again refusing discussions without pre-conditions proves he has no interest in peace. Lieberman also said Israel should accept the Quartet’s proposal for renewing talks. Abbas rejected it because it does not contain his precondition of a halt to all building for Jews in areas where he claims sovereignty.

In his speech to the United Nations, Abbas delivered an unusually harsh attack on Israel that Lieberman and others said was nothing short of incitement. He called Israel an “occupying power” since its inception 63 years ago, implying non-recognition of Israel’s right to exist.

The Foreign Minister said he was justified in walking out along with Israeli UN ambassador Ron Prosor and later Minister Yuli Edelstein, in the middle of Abbas’ remarks, explaining that he would have been criticized had he not exited the General Assembly.

He denied reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was angry with him for not remaining seated while Abbas spoke.

Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and Abbas claimed success after the opening session of the General Assembly. Lieberman said it is too early to celebrate but that Prime Minister Netanyahu won the day through reason while Abbas lost it because of his determination to talk with Israel only after it accepts all of his demands in advance.

Netanyahu is heading back to Israel while the United Nations Security Council begins to discuss the motion by Abbas for recognition of the Palestinian Authority. Lieberman said that the Council can finish the discussions in two weeks, but most observers estimate that it is matter of months or even more than a year.

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