Israel’s foreign minister has backed his Prime Minister’s conditional endorsement of a future Palestinian state as long as it is demilitarised.
Avigdor Liberman told a meeting of his European Union counterparts in Luxembourg that Benjamin Netanyahu’s initiative was the first step on the path to peace. “Yesterday’s speech by our prime minister was positive, very positive, very peaceful speech and we think we can move to negotiations with the Palestinians without any preconditions,” he said. The Israeli foreign minister called on the European Union to play its part in the Middle East peace process by encouraging talks without pre-conditions. But the subject of Iran overshadowed talk of a two state solution. As reports of gunfire on the streets of Tehran filtered through to the packed press conference, Liberman urged action to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “I think that Iran is really the biggest threat, not only for the Middle East, but regarding the Middle East’s biggest factor of instability.” Liberman went on to say that Iran was a bigger threat to world peace than North Korea. Iran insists its nuclear development programme is for domestic energy purposes only while the Israelis believe there is a hidden nuclear weapons agenda.