Livni Warns Merkel: Regional Instability May Be Exploited by Iran

Tzipi Livni and Angela Merkel discussed Israel's stalled peace process with the Palestinians; Livni was quoted saying that negotiations were in Israel's national interest, and not a favor to the Palestinians or Europeans.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Israel's opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Tuesday, the last day of her two-day trip to Israel to receive an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University.

The visit to Israel, although preplanned, has been overshadowed by the unrest that has engulfed Israel's regional neighbor Egypt.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) shakes hands with Israel's opposition leader and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni at the start of their meeting in Jerusalem February 1, 2011.Credit: Reuters

According to a member of Merkel's entourage, Livni voiced fears to the German chancellor that Iran may exploit the current instability in the region, reiterating the oft-repeated Israeli calls for tougher sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program.

Many Israelis share Livni's fear that a weaker Egypt could mean greater Iranian influence in the region.

In their meeting, Livni and Merkel also discussed Israel's stalled peace process with the Palestinians. Livni was quoted saying that negotiations were in Israel's national interest, and not a favor to the Palestinians or Europeans.

Talks with the Palestinians collapsed under PM Netanyahu's government over a Palestinian pre-condition that Israel freeze construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Livni, who heads the centrist Kadima party, said the trust that existed between the Olmert and Abbas administrations needed to be restored.

Merkel was later scheduled to meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres, before receiving her honorary doctorate at Tel Aviv University and departing in the afternoon.

Merkel met with Prime Minister Netanyahu upon arrival Monday, and the two discussed both the Egyptian political turmoil and its political and regional implications, as well as Israel's policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians.

In their talks, the German chancellor defended the Western reaction to the protests in Cairo against criticism in Israel that the United States and Europe were dumping a loyal ally. Merkel also dished some criticism of her own, telling Netanyahu to stop settlement building in the West Bank, which she said is hurting the peace process.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott