Livni: Netanyahu and Abbas Should Talk Directly


netanyahu-abbas Israel’s chief peace negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, says that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas should talk directly.

She told Israel’s Channel 2 TV: “Part of what happened in the past few months was more negotiations between us and the United States and less with the Palestinians.” “We need to move to more meetings, more direct negotiations, more than we have had so far, and I think the Americans know this,” Livni said. “American involvement – yes, but as facilitators of bilateral negotiations.”

Livni defended Israel’s decision to postpone the fourth prisoner release. “I made it clear to the Americans and the Palestinians that I will not release the Israeli (Arab) prisoners unless it’s in a different context. This is something they knew since day one,” she said. “I need to honestly look into the victims families’ eyes and tell them – ‘yes, we’re making that decision for something real.'”

“We had no intention to free (the prisoners) and find ourselves a month later with (the Palestinians) walking out and turning to the UN.” Abbas’ decision to sign 15 international conventions, mainly through the UN, “was a blunt violation and a big mistake that is going to make it very hard on us to return to normal,” Livni said.

{ Israel News Bureau}