Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vice premier Shalom: Egypt's rejection of Lieberman unacceptable

(Ynet).Vice Premier Silvan Shalom tried to find out Tuesday why Egypt is against having Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman attend a European-Middle Eastern convention.

Shalom met with Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Yasser Reda and told him, "This rejection is unacceptable to us."

The Egyptian ambassador replied, "At the moment the conditions are not ripe for convening such a conference. They may mature when the talks with the Palestinians begin."

During the meeting, held at Minister Shalom's office, the Egyptian envoy clarified that the reason for the decision to postpone the conference was an attempt to re-coordinate the event's date, in accordance with the re-launching of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

He said Egypt seeks to hold the conference in the presence of heads of state, and perhaps even US President Barack Obama.

Reda told Shalom that Israel should bolster Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, "because there is no other alternative."

Shalom responded, "We are working with the Palestinian in economic and political cooperation. Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the Quartet's Mideast envoy Tony Blair will soon inaugurate the Jenin crossing. Unfortunately, I see no desire to cooperate on the Palestinian side."