Lieberman: Israel won`t let PA declare state unilaterally

Society Materials 31 August 2009 17:13 (UTC +04:00)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday declared that Israel would not stand by idly should Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad go ahead with his stated plan to declare a de-facto state within two years, Haaretz reported.

Lieberman told visiting UN envoy Tony Blair and European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana that such unilateral initiatives did not contribute to the creation of positive dialogue and vowed that Israel would respond.

He also said that a deadline should not yet be set on a future agreement between Israel and the Palestinians as past attempts to do so has only exacerbated the conflict.

Meanwhile, President Shimon Peres earlier Monday told Solana that Israel the Palestinians had both expressed willingness to enter negotiations and have agreed to work toward the principle of two states for two peoples.

Peres added that now was the time to move on peace talks, and suggested the sides launch two parallel negotiations, one on a permanent agreement the other on existing issues.

Fayyad said last week that the Palestinian Authority intends to establish a de-facto state by 2011, despite failing peace talks.

We have decided to be proactive, to expedite the end of the occupation by working very hard to build positive facts on the ground, consistent with having our state emerge as a fact that cannot be ignored," Fayyad told the Times of London. "This is our agenda, and we want to pursue it doggedly."

According to Fayyad, the idea would be to "end the occupation, despite the occupation."

The de facto state would include security forces, public services and a thriving economy, Fayyad told the Times, and would hopfully serve as the impetus to Israel to move foward on its own commitments.