Israel's Livni doubts peace deal by end of year

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni dampened hopes Thursday that Israel and the Palestinians could reach a peace accord by the year's end, telling reporters that while a time limit for the deal was important, the contents of the deal were more so, dpa reported.

Addressing Israel's Foreign Press Association in Jerusalem, she said that while she was aware of international expectations that the sides would strike a deal, as they had pledged to strive for, by the end of the year, they also had to create a "responsible agreement."

This meant a detailed agreement, she said, adding that anything else would result in misunderstandings, leading to violence.

At the same time, she said there was an awareness that time was running out and that "stagnation is not an option for the Israeli government."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbs pledged at last November's Annapolis peace conference to try and reach a peace deal by the end of 2008.

Negotiations resumed, after a seven-year hiatus, at the turn of the year, with Livni and former Palestinian Premier Ahmed Qureia heading the Israeli and Palestinian teams.

The talks are being held amid a virtual media blackout, with the sides issuing conflicting reports, and unverified, on their progress. However, officials on both sides have begun intimating recently that the December 20908 deadline may have been optimistic.

Any agreement signed would also have to win the backing of both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, which may not be easy, given the expected concessions both sides will have to make.

Ismail Haniya, the Gaza leader of Hamas, which rejects the peace talks and refuses to recognise Israel, said Thursday that Palestinians could only "liberate" Jerusalem through holy war.

"The liberation of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque can be achieved only through Jihad (holy war), blood, resistance and martyrdom and not through absurd peace talks," he told a rally in Gaza.

The fate of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem is one of the main subejcts up for discussion in the negotiations.

Livni would not be drawn Thursday into revealing any details of the ongoing talks, except to stress her support for a two-state solution, which would see Israeli and Palestinian states existing side-by-side.

This, she said, meant not accomodating the Palestinian demand that refugees who fled what is now Israeli territory in the 1948-49 war, and their descendents, be allowed to return to the homes they abandoned.

"It undermines Israel's status as a Jewish state," she said, voicing the Israeli fear that allowing the refugees and their descendents back would lead to Israeli Jews being outnumbered by Palestinian Muslims within a generation or two.

Turning to other issues, she said Russia should not agree to a Syrian request to deploy missiles on its territory, since this could destabalise the Middle East.

"The deployment of long-range missiles is wrong," she said, reacting to reports that Russia could possibly agree to a suggestion by Damascus to deploy missiles in Syria.

According to Israeli media reports Thursday, the missiles in question are S-300 surface-to-air missiles and Iskander E-ballistic missiles, which have a range of of 280 kilometres and can carry a a 480-kilogramme warhead.

Admitting that Russia has "its own interests" in the Middle East, Livni added however that "no one has an interest in destabilizing the region."

Livni also called for tougher sanctions against Iran, saying those being applied to prevent Tehran from pursuing its nuclear programme, which she defined as an "international interest," were "not enough."

Livni, the front-runner to replace Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in next month's contest to elect a new leader of the Kadima party, said she preferred a national unity government with opposition parties if she becomes prime minister.

Olmert, the focus of long-running corruption probes, has said he will step down once his Kadima party elects a new leader who forms a new government.

Polls show Kadima under Livni running neck-and-neck with the right-wing Likud party, each winning 28 of 120 Knesset seats, in elections.

However the party fares less well under Livni's main rival for the leadership, Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz, winning only 22 seats compared to 30 for the Likud.

External debt up in Uzbekistan
External debt up in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan's Bank BTB kicks off cooperation with Universal Payment Transfer system
Azerbaijan's Bank BTB kicks off cooperation with Universal Payment Transfer system
Azerbaijani minister: Issuance of AzerGold's bonds - one of crucial events in 2020 for capital market (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani minister: Issuance of AzerGold's bonds - one of crucial events in 2020 for capital market (PHOTO)
Loading Bars
Latest
Diesel imports increases in Georgia
Financing for Uzbek solar power plant construction approved
Azerbaijan's MFA comments on provocative activities of Pashinyan
External debt up in Uzbekistan
Turkmenistan receives Russia's test system for revealing COVID-19
Azerbaijan's Bank BTB kicks off cooperation with Universal Payment Transfer system
The 7th International womEncourage virtual meeting launched with Gold Sponsorship and Digital Partnership of Azercell
Kazakhstan's oil extracting company opens tender to buy accumulators
Cotton harvesting starts in Azerbaijan's Beylagan district
Most popular goods imported to Uzbekistan revealed
Cargo traffic via Turkish Erzurum Airport decreases
Iran to tackle tax evasion
France reports over 1,000 people in ICU due to coronavirus
Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan - key players in Turkic-speaking alliance
Iran looks to launch new freeway from Tehran to Karaj
CNG based vehicles could reduce fuel prices in Iran
United to provide COVID-19 tests to customers on San Francisco-Hawaii flights
CSTO resources cannot be used in territorial conflicts - Kazakh expert
Kazakhstan. Spain trade down twofold amid COVID-19
Shekel loses sharply on new lockdown restrictions
Iran hotel construction surges by 70 percent over 7 years
Signs COVID cases rising in Sweden again 'worrying' says PM Lofven
Iran`s Rouhani attends inauguration of several projects via video conference
Azerbaijani minister: Issuance of AzerGold's bonds - one of crucial events in 2020 for capital market (PHOTO)
Foreign Ministry discloses details of meeting of Azerbaijani, Georgian FMs (PHOTO)
Number of Kazakh cizitens sent back from Baku port during COVID-19 revealed
Azerbaijan reveals 133 more COVID-19 recoveries
Azerbaijan expands trade relations with Turkey, Russia during quarantine
Russia increases volume of livestock exports to Turkmenistan
Contract on methanol production in Iran signed
PM: Georgia still remains green state status and safe destination for tourists
LUKOIL-Azerbaijan opens tender on repair work
Bahar Azadi gold coin price still rising in Iran
Death toll from coronavirus pandemic exceeds 25,000 in Iran
Central Bank of Azerbaijan discloses amount of foreign currency bought by local banks
Construction of new oil refinery in Iran starts
Major repairs of Dovletabat-Deryalyk gas pipeline underway in Turkmenistan
Harley books $75 million in fresh restructuring costs, discontinues India operations
President Ilham Aliyev: There is a very high-level partnership between the European Union and Azerbaijan
Baku Stock Exchange holds meeting on issuance of AzerGold's bonds (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan’s Baku International Sea Trade Port discloses total cargo turnover this year
Iran discloses its exports via Jolfa customs
Azerbaijani expert in tourism sector talks about discounts on air tickets
Iran, Malaysia hold talks on preferential trade
FM: Azerbaijan's support for Georgia's position at UN General Assembly essential for us
Vice mayor of Israel's Afula: Azerbaijan - one of most tolerant countries in world
LafargeHolcim Signs Net Zero Pledge with Science-Based Targets
Turkmen Akymly-Ugur service company announces production volumes
Turkmen service company plans to expand its export geography
Geostat reveals volume of vegetables exported by Georgia to Azerbaijan
SOFAZ expects no changes in its foreign currency portfolio
Azerbaijan unveils amount of loans issues to farmers
Range of products made in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan expanding
Uzbekistan eyes to integrate into global economic, transport and transit corridors
Azerbaijani FM meets with Georgian counterpart (PHOTO)
Construction of large grain warehouse in Iran to be completed soon
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan drop
Georgia reduces imports of electricity from Azerbaijan
Iran-Najaf flights resume for special passengers
Armenian intelligence network exposed - SOCIAL NETWORKS - PHOTO FACTS
UAE, Israel discuss energy, infrastructure cooperation
Iran declares trade turnover with EU member states
German industry's export expectations up significantly
EAEU countries increase fruit exports to Turkmenistan
Azerbaijani oil prices show climb
Pakistani Ambassador: Azerbaijan ably steered NAM in difficult times, provided leadership for developing countries
46-year-old enters Baku Higher Oil School
Moscow-Baku flights resumed (PHOTO)
Georgia reports 259 new COVID-19 cases
Uzbekistan increases cement production
Uzbekistan leads in foreign direct investment sector
Volume of currency sold at NIMA exchange rate in Iran climbs
Overhaul of Azerbaijani ‘Rasul Rza' dry-cargo ship completed (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers discusses budget-related issues (PHOTO)
Georgia increases import of tea from Azerbaijan
Nobel winners to get $110,000 raise as prize money increased
Corn production in Azerbaijan grows
Iraq oil minister expects deal to up oil exports
Oil falls as demand growth concerns outweigh U.S. stock drawdown
Trading at Iran Mercantile Exchange revealed
Turkmen Rysgal Bank introduces digitalization in payment system
Kazakh Gas Refinery to buy welding equipment via tender
Less than 10,000 getting COVID-19 each day
Georgian taxpayers to finance harvest for viticulturists
Armenian armed forces targetted Azerbaijan's important energy, transport infrastructure in July - MFA
Azerbaijan's Az-Granata talks export, production plans to be done by year-end
President Ilham Aliyev receives credentials of incoming Swedish ambassador (PHOTO)
Iranian currency rates for September 24
Iranian member of chamber: railway potential of Azerbaijan and Iran can maximize trade cooperation
Operating revenue of Fluxys Belgium up
Kazakhstan abolishes death penalty
Fluxys Belgium rolling out programs to further reduce methane emissions
Fluxys Belgium sees significant drop in investments
Azerbaijani currency rates for Sept. 24
Compensation of closed Azerbaijani banks ongoing
Saudis warn U.N. of oil spot in shipping lane near decaying Yemen tanker
Some European refiners may leave market
Armenians destroying ancient Albanian monuments of Azerbaijan - historian
Turkmenistan, USAID consider possibility of implementing number of joint projects
SOCAR Trading eyes to create global integrated oil products desk
All news