Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman blamed the Palestinians for lack of progress in peace negotiations, and said Israel would not agree to additional conditions for the continuation of the talks.
“The Palestinians are the ones torpedoing the talks by setting conditions,” Lieberman told Israel Radio Thursday, according to the Times of Israel. “Israel would not agree to any further conditions for the continuation of talks.”
The statement comes in response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for Israel to freeze West Bank settlement expansion in order for talks to continue.
The negotiations, which began last July, are nearing the nine-month deadline that Secretary of State John Kerry set at their start. Kerry hopes to persuade both sides to agree to a framework for ongoing negotiations that would extend beyond the original deadline. Recent reports indicate that significant gaps remain between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Lieberman is set to meet Kerry in Rome later in the day Thursday.JTA
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