Israel's Lieberman apologizes to Spain for leak of Europe comment
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday apologized to his Spanish counterpart Miguel Angel Moratinos that comments in which he advised Europe to solve its own problems had been made public, Spanish diplomatic sources said, DPA reported.
Lieberman called Moratinos to discuss the comments he had made to the Spaniard and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner as they visited Israel over the weekend in a bid to reactivate the Middle East peace process, the sources said.
"Solve your own problems in Europe before you come to us with complaints. Maybe then I will be open to accepting your suggestions," the Israeli daily Haaretz quoted Lieberman as telling Moratinos and Kouchner at a dinner meeting with them on Sunday.
Lieberman said he did not expect the European Union to solve all of the world's problems, but expected it to at least take care of European issues like the Kosovo crisis and the Cyprus conflict, according to Haaretz.
Lieberman apologized to Moratinos over the leaking of his comments, which were made public by several media outlets.
Moratinos and Kouchner also met with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.
The Israeli-Palestinian direct peace talks, relaunched only at the beginning of last month, are currently in limbo over Israeli construction in its West Bank settlements.