Lieberman
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Photo by Emil Salman
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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday voiced support and appreciation for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's stands in the United States over the last few days.

Lieberman said the resolute positions Netanyahu had taken in the U.S. represent the opinions of most Israelis.

But Lieberman's warm message, delivered in a statement to the press at the start of a meeting of his Yisrael Beiteinu faction, also contained an implied warning to Netanyahu not to move left in his speech to Congress today.

With regard to negotiations with the Palestinians, an issue Netanyahu is expected to address when he speaks to Congress, Lieberman said, "Israel is prepared to negotiate at any moment, but without preconditions.

"Whoever wants to negotiate with us, ahlan wasahlan," he added, using the Arabic phrase for "welcome."

However, the foreign minister stressed, Israel would remain adamant in its rejection of the Palestinians' demand that the refugees be resettled in Israel. "Not even one refugee," he said.

Netanyahu and his inner circle are reportedly pleased with the support the premier has garnered from his right flank following his response to U.S. President Barack Obama's speech last Thursday. Yet the cabinet's left flank, Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Atzmaut ), also sounded pleased yesterday, saying that Obama's subsequent speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Sunday "gave us a way out of the main disagreements, a way to solve those that remain and move forward."