Israeli-Palestinian peace is currently unachievable, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday, and Israel's relations with the Palestinians should be based on conflict management, rather than on conflict resolution, DPA reported.
Addressing a meeting of Israeli diplomats in Jerusalem, he said that because of the current turmoil in the Middle East, it was not the right time to think that an agreement with the Palestinians could be reached any time soon.
"Do you start to lay the foundations for a new building in the midst of a earthquake?" he asked.
Repeating views he has expressed in the past, Lieberman said that "the key word in our relations with the Palestinians should be managing the conflict, and not solving it."
"Whoever says it is possible to reach peace with the Palestinians in the coming years is mistaken and misleading (others)," said Lieberman, who has never hidden his blunt scepticism of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
"This is the situation for the next decade and we need to know how to deal with it in a way that is best for both sides, to facilitate stability, economic and security cooperation, and economic growth among the Palestinians," he said.
He added that no Israeli territorial withdrawal would solve the root issues of the conflict - refugees, Jerusalem and security arrangements.
Lieberman accused the Palestinians of attempting to avoid negotiations, and harshly criticized President Mahmoud Abbas, who he said showed "his true face" by traveling to Turkey to meet a recently released Palestinian prisoner who was jailed by Israel after luring a teenager to his death in 2001.
"We have no partner for peace," he said. "Abu Mazen (Abbas' nom de guerre) proves time after time that he is not a partner for anything."