Israeli FM: Peace talks at a 'dead end'

Dec. 7, 2013 at 4:20 PM   |   0 comments

JERUSALEM, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said peace negotiations with Palestinians are at a "dead end" and no deal is in sight.

Lieberman is not directly involved in the talks between the two sides, but his comment countered a more optimistic evaluation from his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry, who said this week "we are closer than we have been in years in bringing about the peace and prosperity and security that all the people in this region deserve and have been yearning for."

"We are at a dead end," Lieberman said.

"There may have been something dramatic that I don't know about," he said. "My feeling is that there is great desire but I don't think it's possible. It is not easy to bridge the gaps. We are not even close to a deal, not even an interim one. That is my estimate."

Lieberman expressed skepticism the two sides had done enough to create the trust necessary to hold credible peace negotiations, Ynetnews reported Saturday.

He said trust must be established before more concrete issues such as security concerns and the right of return for Palestinians.

"[Start with] something simple like trust and reliability," Lieberman said. "The trust between the two sides is non-existent. It is hard to make peace when you don't believe the other side."

Kerry and Lieberman are scheduled to meet Sunday in Washington.

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