Egypt FM: Lieberman's Views Do Not Represent Israel

Ahmed Aboul Gheit says in response to Lieberman's controversial UN speech that he is pessimistic about the peace talks due to renewal of settlement construction.

The views of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman regarding the peace process with the Palestinian Authority do not represent Israel's foreign policy, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya network on Wednesday.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit

"It is known that Lieberman talks a lot, but not always out of an understanding of the framework in which he is in," Gheit said, adding that he did not listen to Lieberman's speech as he did not ascribe importance to his words.

Aboul Gheit's comment referred to a controversial address by the foreign minister at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, in which Lieberman presented his draft for population and territory swap, as part of an eventual peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Under Lieberman's controversial scheme, part of Israel's Arab population would be moved to a newly created Palestinian state, in return for evacuation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Gheit added that "despite the international efforts, I am not optimistic." He added that the Palestinians would not be able to remain in the peace talks after Israel's decision not to extend the moratorium.

A statement by the Prime Minister's Office stated following Lieberman's speech that "Lieberman's address was not coordinated with the prime minister," adding that "Netanyahu is the one handling the negotiations on Israel's behalf. The various issues surrounding a peace agreement will be discussed and decided only at the negotiating table, and nowhere else."