Daily Israel Report

Liberman Meets Ban at UN Headquarters

Foreign Minister Liberman meets UN chief. Iran and peace talks are among issues discussed.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/5/2013, 3:16 AM

Foreign Minister Lieberman with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Foreign Minister Lieberman with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Shahar Azran

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman met on Wednesday in New York with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The two discussed the recent agreement signed between Iran and world powers, the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), other events in the Middle East and issues pertaining to the relationship between Israel and the United Nations.

A statement from Liberman’s office said that he told Ban that Israel's concern over the agreement signed with Iran is based on the facts on the ground.

“The day before the signing of the agreement, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei compared Israel and the Jews to rabid dogs and said that Israel will disappear from the map,” Liberman told the UN chief.

“In addition, today we continue to see Iranian activity in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere that undermines global stability. A few weeks ago an Iranian activist who planned to assassinate the Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan was arrested in Baku,” he added.

Liberman added that unlike the agreement that was reached with Syria, which included concrete steps on the removal and destruction its chemical weapons, the agreement with Iran does not include similar clauses about the Islamic Republic giving up its nuclear ambitions.

Regarding the negotiations with the PA, Liberman slammed recent statements by PA leaders regarding their intention to join international organizations so they can sue Israel, or statements according to which they only plan to continue the talks until all terrorist prisoners are released and then pull out.

These statements, said the Foreign Minister, will only lead the talks to a dead end. He asked Ban to act to change the PA’s attitude in regards to the peace talks.

Finally, Liberman said that the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria constitute only 1.5% of the whole region. As such, he told Ban, they are not an obstacle to peace but rather an excuse for those who do not want peace.

Liberman’s office said the meeting was held in a good atmosphere and that Ban congratulated Liberman on his return to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs.