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Bibi Chides Livni Over Abbas Talks

The only Israeli body fit to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority is the elected government, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni on Thursday, a day after the Kadima chairman met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Speaking with Haaretz on Wednesday, Livni said of her meeting with Abbas in Amman that Israel could resume peace talks with the Palestinians without giving in on its “non-negotiables.”

“We’ve reached the 11th hour,” Livni said, adding that “before the situation deteriorates, we have to restart negotiations.” The Kadima chairperson stressed that she updated Netanyahu both before and after meeting Abbas.

However, speaking to Livni on the phone on Thursday, Netanyahu indicated that “if the Palestinians wanted to negotiate, the only way to do so would be with Israel’s elected government.”

Giving her own account of the conversation with Netanyahu, Livni said she told the prime minister that “Israel’s security and its ability to defend itself should have already brought your government to hold serious talks supported by the international community, instead of being isolated from it.”

“I won’t negotiate instead of the government, but I will act to extract Israel from its isolation in the international arena and work to strengthen the legitimacy of military action against terror as well as to bolster the moderate camp in the Middle East,” Livni said, adding that that camp was “fading away in this government’s term.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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