Lieberman says no freeze extension

Sept. 18, 2010 at 10:54 PM
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JERUSALEM, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says Israel won't extend the moratorium on construction in the West Bank.

The 10-month freeze is to expire Sept. 26.

Ynetnews reported Saturday Lieberman told British Foreign Secretary William Hague in a phone conversation this weekend, "The Palestinians wasted nine months, and even on the 10th month they didn't join the talks out of a genuine intent to reach an agreement, but because they were coerced."

Lieberman said the Palestinians are using the freeze issue as an "excuse" to stonewall the peace talks. He said it's up to the Palestinian Authority to show it is serious about attaining a peace agreement, Ynetnews said.

"Those who look for excuses will find them even if the freeze is extended," Lieberman said.

"Israel has made numerous gestures over the past year, and now it's the Palestinians' turn. Israel will gladly continue negotiating without preconditions, including those related to the moratorium."

Hague is to visit Israel in December, the two officials have agreed.

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