Lieberman: Palestinians to Blame for Absence of Peace Deal

Foreign minister meets with UN chief, says the PA did not show 'real good intention' during negotiations this past month, though insists that direct talks should continue.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday blamed the Palestinians for the stagnation of the peace process, saying they did not take steps to advance peace during Israel's 10-month settlement moratorium.

Lieberman and Ban Ki-moon - Azran - Sept 27, 2010
Shahar Azran

Lieberman held a meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Monday, in which the UN chief "expressed his disappointed that the government of Israel had not yet decided to extend its settlement restraint policy."

Despite saying that the Palestinians did not show "real good intention" during negotiations this past month, Lieberman said that direct talks should continue.

"The most important thing today is to keep the political process alive despite our dispute," Lieberman told reporters at the UN headquarters following the meeting.

Ban Ki-moon said he was "concerned provocative actions are taking place on the ground," referring to Israel's resumption of settlement building in the West Bank, and said that "direct negotiations are the only way for Israelis and Palestinians to resolve all final status issues."