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Israel’s top priority to maintain good relations with Russia — FM Lieberman

January 26, 2015, 4:41 UTC+3 TEL-AVIV
“I believe that Israel’s neutrality in regard to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is the most rational position,” the foreign minister said
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© Archive/ITAR-TASS/Denis Vishinskiy

TEL-AVIV, January 26. /TASS/. Maintaining good relations with Russia is one of the top priorities for Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, said in an exclusive interview with TASS ahead of his official visit to Moscow on Monday.

“Maintenance of good relations with Russia is a priority moment for Israel and its principal stance,” Lieberman said. “This is not an issue of personal likes and dislikes but the deliberate necessity. The tendency is undoubtedly positive despite certain disagreements.”

“Israel is a small country in the heart of the most unstable region and since its birth Israel has been in the center of geopolitical, ideological, religious, diplomatic and sometimes military collisions on the global scale,” Israel’s top diplomat said. “We simply cannot afford neglecting warm relations with such significant international player as Russia.”

“I doubt that there will ever be a sober-minded Israeli politician in the capacity of a prime or a foreign minister wishing to change this paradigm,” Lieberman, who is scheduled to hold bilateral talks on Monday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, told TASS.

“However, Russian-speaking politicians in Israel have serious disagreements with Russian foreign policy officials concerning a number of principal issues,” Lieberman, who was born in Moldova’s Chisinau and speaks Russian, said. “In particular, our evaluations and opinions on the ways out of the regional crisis in the Middle East do not coincide in many regards and will hardly come to terms in the nearest future.”

“However, not only the general mentality, understandable common cultural values, historical parallels and even jokes are definitely providing for the greater mutual understanding and trust as well as the establishment of friendly personal relations, which play not the least role in diplomacy.”

“Such state of affairs may change after March 17 elections in Israel, but I am sure that the political vector will remain unchanged,” Lieberman, who heads Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) political party, said.

“I believe that Israel’s neutrality in regard to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is the most rational position,” the foreign minister said. “However, it does not mean our passive stance as we enjoy good relations with both sides, Moscow and Kiev trust us and this is a good foundations for intermediary efforts. We have repeatedly stated about our readiness to imply such efforts and these were not simply words.”

“Russian-speaking politicians in Israel are capable of perceiving the erupted Russian-Ukrainian confrontation at the mental level,” the top Israeli diplomat said. “This is why we are capable of better understanding of each party. We are not indifferent.”.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict roots to general Arab-Jewish spat

It is necessary to settle an emerged over a century ago Arab-Jewish conflict as there is no separate Israeli-Palestinian problem, Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, said in an exclusive interview with TASS ahead of his official visit to Moscow on Monday.

“A separate Israeli-Palestinian problem does not exist, therefore there is no sense taking care of it in an isolated manner,” Lieberman said. “There is a general Arab-Jewish conflict, which emerged over a century ago, when Jews began returning to their land.”

“This is the conflict, which must be resolved, and it must be done simultaneously in three dimensions - with moderate Arab states, with Palestinians and Arabs living in Israel. These issues must be resolved by an integral approach and separately reached agreements must be excluded.”

According to the Israeli foreign minister, “conditions for such settlement shaped up already.”

“Events of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ and emerging bloody conflicts in the regions convinced moderate Arab regimes that the main threat for them is not Israel, but the Islamic radicalism,” Lieberman said. “We have a common enemy with them [moderate Arab states]. They are ready for rapprochement and they are capable of influencing the behavior of their fellow people.”

“It is very important that the final settlement [of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict] and merger of Israeli technologies with Arab investments may lead to an unprecedented prosperity of the region,” Lieberman, who is scheduled to hold bilateral talks on Monday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, told TASS. “This is where the key to peace in the whole Middle East.”

“We are considering every opportunity of reaching progress in the settlement process and are not rejecting any form of help,” Lieberman said adding that “the matter is in the wrong approach to the solution of the conflict.”

“For more than 20 years since the reached accords ion Oslo a lot of disappointments occurred, we saw numerous casualties and the deterioration of the confrontation,” the top Israeli diplomat said. “It proves that a wrong diagnosis was made at a certain period of time. We will reach a deadlock if we keep moving up this path.”

“For many long years the governments of Israel were one by one trying to reach an accord with Palestinians on the conflict settlement making generous concessions at the same time,” Lieberman said. “But it is impossible to reach the correct result proceeding from false messages.”.

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