Israel warns against Palestine's UN move

2011-06-17 20:47

Jerusalem - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday bluntly told the European Union's top diplomat that UN recognition of a Palestinian state in September would render the Oslo Accords null and void.

At a breakfast meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Lieberman said the 1993 Oslo Accords that created the Palestinian Authority, and all the agreements reached since then, would be cancelled if they secured recognition of their independent state when the United Nations meets this autumn.

"The unilateral declaration at the United Nations would mean the end of the Oslo Agreement and a violation of all the agreements that were signed up to today," Lieberman was widely quoted as saying by all the mainstream Israel news websites and radio stations.

"Israel would no longer be bound to the agreements that were signed with the Palestinians over the last 18 years," he said in talks with Ashton who arrived on Thursday evening and is due to meet the Palestinian leadership later on Friday.

Ashton is on a four-day tour of the region for talks with officials in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Egypt, during which she is aiming to find a way to resume peace talks which collapsed late last year.

But Lieberman told her there was "zero chance of restarting peace talks", and launched an attack on Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, claiming he "does not want an agreement, he wants conflict" with Israel.

Suggestions of division

"By looking to secure a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, Mahmud Abbas is acting out of his own personal interests, without taking into account Palestinian interests nor the advice of many officials in the Palestinian Authority who are opposed to his initiative," public radio quoted him as saying.

Lieberman was referring to a growing number of media reports suggesting there is division within the Palestinian Authority over the diplomatic strategy of approaching the UN.

Later on Friday Ashton will meet Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad then have dinner with Abbas in a bid to explore options of bringing the parties back to the negotiating table after all direct contact was cut off last September.

Before arriving, Ashton said she was pushing for an urgent meeting of the Middle East Quartet of peacemaking diplomats to help relaunch negotiations, with diplomatic sources in Brussels telling AFP she was hoping for a swift meeting, by early July at the latest, in Washington.

On June 10, she wrote to her fellow Quartet principals - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon - calling for the Quartet to adopt a statement consolidating elements of US President Barack Obama's call for talks to resume on the basis of 1967 borders.

Volatile developments

"It is critical that we make a gesture before the summer, because we need to contribute to a calming of a volatile situation," she wrote in her letter, a copy of which was seen by AFP.

"This is no time for unilateral moves on either side, since this could lead to escalation," she wrote.

Ashton is just one of a number of world leaders working to find a way to head off potentially volatile developments in September when the Palestinians approach the United Nations to request membership and recognition by the 192-member body in a move fiercely opposed by Israel.

She will travel to Cairo on Saturday to discuss events in Libya, before returning to Israel on Sunday for a joint meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Quartet envoy Tony Blair, an EU spokesperson said.

She will then fly to Luxembourg to brief the EU's 27 foreign ministers on Monday.

  • Hugh - 2011-06-17 21:14

    Like the Zionism was partnered with Apartheid through the backingof the Afgrican Union so shall this be passed. None of these votes dare point fingers at China

      Apache - 2011-06-17 21:53

      Whatever the fck you are trying to say, it makes zero sense.

  • Apache - 2011-06-17 22:00

    Baroness Ashton, you have hardly seen the best part of your own country, try take some time to understand the immediate surrounding before commenting on the complex issues of the middle east, please guys get somebody with a bit more savvy, charm and understanding to solve this one.

  • John Paul - 2011-06-19 22:56

    Israeli's are living in an illusion: that the UN acceptance of Palestine as a member will not change anything. All of a sudden countries which have ignored other decisions for the last 50 years will suddenly pass one resolution after another not pro Palestine, bu Anti - Israel. And they will be sending armed forces, formal and informal, over against Israel, claiming the authority of some or other resolution.

  • Patrick - 2011-06-21 09:59

    The way I see it, the gate to first containing and then rolling back Israel, and thus helping Palestine, is not over there, it is in the US. The lock to that gate is not in Washington, it is in the heartland of America where the Zionists have as of yet remarkably little influence. And the key to that lock is the open wound today which is 9/11 and the wars it spawned. Nail them on 9/11 and the cover-up of it, nail them for the wars they contrived and the wars they want the US to wage on Israel’s behalf, nail them for the lives and treasure America has spent and the lives it has taken waging America’s Jewish Wars, nail them often and hard, and the Zionists may end up wishing Germany had won WWII.

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