Liberman: Israel-PA Dialogue May Fail, But Important to Continue
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman stated Friday night that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are unlikely to bear fruit within the envisioned nine-month timeframe but that dialogue should continue, according to AFP.
His remarks contrasted with those made by US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday, who said peace was closer than it had been in years.
Speaking to the Saban Centre for Middle East Policy in Washington and quoted on its website, Liberman said: "Today the trust between the two sides is about zero. It's impossible to create peace if you don't have any credibility."
"I don't believe it is possible in the next year... to achieve a comprehensive solution to achieve some breakthrough, but I think it is crucial to keep our dialogue." He said it was crucial "because, even if you are not able to resolve the conflict, it's very important to manage this conflict."
Kerry, speaking Friday at the end of a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, was upbeat despite the negotiations he brokered having made little visible headway since they began in late July.
"I believe we are closer than we have been in years to bringing about the peace and the prosperity and the security that all of the people of this region deserve," Kerry said.
Liberman is on his first trip to Washington since regaining his post last month after being cleared of corruption charges, and is there for talks with Kerry and with UN chief Ban Ki-Moon. He has stressed before that despite recent tensions, the US and Israel are still great allies.