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      Lieberman to Meet with Clinton

      Days after Netanyahu's announcement that he would support a demilitarized PA state, Foregn Minister Lieberman will meet with Clinton Wednesday.
      By Avraham Zuroff
      First Publish: 6/17/2009, 6:57 AM

      Israel National News

      Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman will conduct a series of political talks in Washington with senior government officials, including discussions with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday. The talks come three days after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that he would support a demilitarized Palestinian Authority state. Netanyahu’s speech was well-received by the American administration.

      Lieberman, who landed in the U.S. capital on Monday, will continue his political campaign that he started in Europe. In Luxemburg, he met with European Union ministers, who labeled Netanyahu's speech on Sunday as “insufficient.” The EU has said it is freezing plans to upgrade relations with Israel until it accepts the establishment of a PA state.

      Prime Minister Netanyahu on Sunday agreed to do so but with several conditions. In order to upgrade ties, “We need a few steps more,” said Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Finland Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb agreed that Netanyahu's speech did not warrant an upgrade in ties.

      Lieberman stated that his meeting with 27 European foreign ministers was positive and argued that it has “allowed the opening of negotiations with Palestinians and Arab countries, without preconditions.”

      In Wednesday's meeting, Clinton is likely to reiterate the American demand that Israel freeze construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria. She has stated that the Obama administration does not approve of “natural growth” allowances of expansion within Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem.

      Lieberman is expected to raise the topic of Iran’s nuclear program and America’s assurance for Israel’s security. They will conduct a joint press conference after their meeting.

      Lieberman intends to subsequently make a visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum where a white supremacist fired shots, killing a guard in an attack last week. He also will meet with Senate Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Sen. John Kerry, and with Senate National Security Committee chairman Sen. Joe Lieberman.

      The Foreign Affairs Minister will then continue to New York, where he will meet with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and heads of Jewish organizations. Lieberman will then continue to the Canadian capital of Ottawa where he will meet with his Canadian counterpart, Laurence Cannon.