Defense Chief Lieberman to Tillerson: Settlements Not an Impediment to Peace

Defense minister asks U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to consider pulling America's membership out of the UN Human Rights Council.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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Lieberman and Tillerson, Washington, March 3, 2017.
Lieberman and Tillerson, Washington, March 3, 2017.Credit: Defense Ministry
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Israeli settlements are not an impediment to peace during a meeting in Washington on Wednesday.

Lieberman is on a two-day working trip in the U.S. capital and has been meeting with senior officials in the American security establishment.

According to a statement issued by Lieberman's office, the defense chief told Tillerson that "even the uprooting of 21 blooming towns in Gaza did not lead to peace but rather to rocket fire at Israel."

Lieberman also asked the secretary of state to instruct the State Department to review its policy toward The United Nations' Human Rights Council and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. According to Lieberman, these organizations "are not filling their intended goals but rather the Human Rights Council is busy slandering Israel and attempting to harm it by distorting reality."

Lieberman asked the secretary of state to consider pulling the U.S. out of the Human Rights Council and to consider UNRWA's activities.

The statement said the two also discussed Iran's regional influence. "Iran is undermining the stability of the Middle East and is continuing to spread terrorism across the world," Lieberman said.

Later on Wednesday, Lieberman will meet National Security Adviser Gen. H. R. Mcmaster and is scheduled to hold meeting Thursday in New York.