Israel should present Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas with an ultimatum, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said this weekend: If he doesn’t resume negotiations and abandon his unilateral campaign for UN recognition as a state, Israel will cease to see him as a legitimate negotiating partner.
In an interview with Haaretz, Lieberman said the resumption of the UN campaign was the main reason for the letter he sent last week to the foreign ministers of members of the Middle East Quartet (which comprises the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia). In that letter, he urged them to work to replace Abbas by pressuring the PA to hold its long-overdue presidential election.
“Everyone is asking ‘why now?’ Why did I suddenly send that letter?” Lieberman said. “I did it because Abu Mazen [Abbas] is playing for time until November with his UN move.”
The PA sent a harshly-worded letter of complaint to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this weekend, demanding that the Israeli government state unequivocally whether Lieberman’s letter represents its position.
For more go to Haaretz.com