Lieberman: I'm Ready to Quit My Settlement Home for Peace

In an online interview with the Washington Post Lieberman says Iran is biggest threat to Mideast.

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Yisrael Beitenu chairman Avigdor Lieberman said in comments published Saturday that he would be ready to vacate his own home for a peace agreement and repeated calls for Israeli Arabs to take loyalty tests.

In an interview published online by the Washington Post, Lieberman said "We cannot accept that there are people in Israel that even during the war openly supported Hamas."

Lieberman pledged to continue the peace process, saying "We will put things in the right line. Not to start with a final agreement, [but] to [go] step by step. You can't start with Jerusalem or the evacuation of the settlements. You must start with the security and the economy. You must strengthen the Palestinian Authority."

When asked about the loyalty test, which Lieberman had suggested Israeli Arabs should pass in order to be Israeli citizens he replied: "We take all our examples from Europe or the United States. For example, the pledge. When I suggested the exact procedure like in the United States for the pledge, everybody here said, 'You're a racist, you're a fascist.' Why?"

In regard to the recent elections and the current coalition talks Lieberman indicated: "I think I can hold every portfolio - defense, finance and Foreign Ministry. I think personally I'd like the foreign office."

Lieberman stated he had met with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Quartet's envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, and that he does not foresee any obstacles if he were to serve as Foreign Minister.

Lieberman stated that the biggest problem that the Middle East faces is not a territorial one, nor the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but rather the Iranian threat as well as threats posed by Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. He added that Israel's neighboring countries also fear Iran.

Addressing the issue of the Iranian threat, Lieberman suggested harsh political and economic sanctions, adding that he cannot imagine the implications of a military operation against Iran.



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