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As Livni Meets Abbas, Bibi Says She Represents Only Herself

Netanyahu distances himself from London meeting between Livni and Abbas, saying she does not represent the Israeli government.
By Hezki Ezra, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 5/17/2014, 9:26 PM

Tzipi Livni and Mahmoud Abbas (file)
Tzipi Livni and Mahmoud Abbas (file)
Reuters

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu distanced himself from the meeting last Thursday in London, held between Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, stating that Livni represented only herself.

Livni, who was chief negotiator for Israel in the talks that failed after the PA unity deal with Hamas last month, told Netanyahu about the meeting last week two days before it took place.

Sources in the prime minister's office said Saturday night that Netanyahu made it clear to Livni that she would be representing only herself, and not the Israeli government.

The prime minister reiterated that the position of the government, as passed unanimously by the security cabinet, is not to negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, which he restated is "a terrorist organization that declares its intentions to destroy the state of Israel."

Livni's Justice Ministry refuse to comment on the events on Saturday night.

The cabinet meeting which decided to suspend talks over the unity deal in fact passed several sanctions against the PA for its move as well, including the cutting of all diplomatic contact as well as financial sanctions.

Apparently Livni's meeting didn't overstep that sanction on contact given that it was "unofficial."

Reportedly in the meeting Livni expressed to Abbas the great dissatisfaction held by the government over his forming a reconciliation deal with the Hamas terrorist group mere days before the deadline of the peace talks.

Livni also met with US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier on Thursday, in what was likewise described as a chance encounter given that both were in London at the same time, and not a planned attempt to restart the peace talks.