Israeli Foreign Minister warns against Palestinian state

June 17, 2011 at 2:10 PM
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JERUSALEM, June 17 (UPI) -- Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Friday Israel would renounce the 1993 Oslo Accords if the Palestinians pursue U.N. statehood recognition in September.

"The unilateral move at the U.N. is the end of the Oslo Accords and would be a violation of all agreements that we have signed until now," Lieberman said during a meeting in Jerusalem with European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, Haaretz reported. "Israel would not be obligated to the agreements that it has signed with the Palestinians over the past 18 years."

The Oslo agreement created the Palestinian Authority, which is tasked with administering Gaza and parts of the West Bank.

Lieberman said there is no chance negotiations with the Palestinians will move forward because of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' position.

"Abbas does not want an agreement, but rather confrontation with Israel. This is his personal interest, even though it is contrary to Palestinian interests and many in the Palestinian Authority oppose him," Lieberman said.

Ashton, meanwhile, said "it is more urgent than ever to engage in meaningful negotiations and move the peace process forward" and that a "clear reference framework" is required to return the parties to peace talks. She is scheduled to meet Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Palestinian negotiator Muhammad Shtayeh told reporters Thursday the Palestinian Authority will seek U.N. recognition and membership with or without the resumption of peace talks.

"We are by all means going to the United Nations, whether there are negotiations or no negotiations," Shtayeh was quoted by Britain's The Guardian as saying. "We think that is not either/or. We think that going to the United Nations and negotiations can go hand in hand and they are complementary to each other."

A majority of the 192 nations in the U.N. General Assembly are expected to back a unilateral move to recognize a Palestinian state, a development strongly opposed by Israel and the United States, The Guardian said.

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