In a surprising shift, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman encouraged Israel to accept the peace plan proposed by U.S. officials declaring the deal as the best Israel will get, according to an interview with The Telegraph.
In the report, Lieberman shows gratitude towards U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's perseverance towards Israeli-Palestinian peace. "It's the best proposal we can get and we really appreciate the efforts of Secretary of State John Kerry. He has really put a lot of energy into the issue," he said.
He added that the negotiations between the two sides should continue despite the outcome: “With or without a comprehensive solution we will continue to live together and continue to be neighbors. There are many problems on the ground, so this direct contact, this negotiation, these talks - it’s very important to keep alive and maintain.”
In his first major interview since his return to office, The Telegraph report was conducted in London after the Israeli minister met with Foreign Minister William Hague and opposition leader Ed Miliband.
Since his acquittal of corruption charges in November 2013, Lieberman's comments show a change in his typically hardline stances. Instead of blaming Palestinian officials, as he has done in the past, in the interview he concedes that maybe it is the "mistake of leadership, of our governments – more than Arab mistakes," that creates barriers toward peace.
However his uncompromising views on Israel's right to expand settlements in the West Bank remains intact.