By Israel Hayom Staff
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has refused to meet with Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem during her upcoming visit to Israel next month, in light of Sweden’s recent motion for Palestinian recognition.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman – Photo: AP
Sweden voted in October to recognize a Palestinian state, making it the first major European Union member state to officially recognize the Palestinian statehood bid.
Lieberman also recalled Israel’s Ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman for consultations following the Swedish move.
According to a Channel 2 News report, the foreign minister believes that Sweden purposely hid its intention to recognize a Palestinian state. He was also particularly upset that the Swedish government did not listen to Israeli input on the matter, while other European countries that voted in favor of Palestinian recognition were willing to listen to the Israeli side.
Speaking about unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state on Wednesday, Lieberman criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, accusing him of duplicity in interviews with Arabic and international media.
“I read an interview he gave in Egypt,” Lieberman said.
“He spoke about six million refugees trying to return to Israel, including himself. … [He expressed] the same uncompromising stances, the same world view as Hamas.
“When he is interviewed here, he says the right of return doesn’t exist, but in Arabic, he says the opposite. We want a real, serious partner. … We need the Europeans to understand that if they want to see peace, the PA must also be responsible — not to escalate diplomatic efforts in the international arena, but to come to the negotiating table.”
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=22223