Lieberman's extremist image prompts Netanyahu to attend UN meet
Prime minister to deliver speech at the UN General Assembly opening session in New York in September.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will attend the United Nations General Assembly opening session in New York this coming September.
Diplomatic sources in New York said that Netanyahu decided that Israel would be better served if he appeared to present Jerusalem's diplomatic positions instead of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is thought of in international circles as an extremist.
In previous years, Netanyahu's predecessor, Ehud Olmert, dispatched his foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, to represent Israel at the annual gathering. The last Israeli premier to address the opening session was Ariel Sharon.
The opening session, which is scheduled to take place on September 23, brings together presidents and prime ministers of the 192 member states of the UN.
The massive presence of various heads of state will provide Netanyahu an opportunity to warn of the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Lieberman, meanwhile, is expected to arrive in New York next week for a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
On Tuesday night, Ban attended a party at the home of Israel's envoy to the UN, Gabriela Shalev. The evening was organized by Shalev to honor her colleague, U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice. Among the attendees at the dinner was Egypt's envoy to the UN.