Well we are certainly off to a stormy start!
“Whoever wants peace should prepare for war,” said Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, the ultra-nationalist, on his first day on the job. That's certainly the Headline grabber here in the press – and not just in Israel!
In saying this he has upset both the US and Egypt… not the best start perhaps to diplomacy.
Essentially Mr. Liberman is saying that the agreements made in Annapolis don't obligate Israel. He said the Annapolis Conference, from his perspective, was invalid and it's “dead”.
On Syria, the new Foreign Minister said that he favors peace – but not the withdrawal from the Golan Heights – the key ingredient to peace with the Syrians. Prime Minister Netanyahu wants indirect negotiations with the Syrians to continue and he also wants to prevent the removal of Israelis.
Concerning Iran, Liberman and Netanyahu are said to be accelerating preparations for confrontation. According to the assessment of the commander of US forces in the Middle East, it looks likely Israel will attack Iran's nuclear program.
And lastly the Palestinians, Mr. Liberman wants a reassessment of negotiations.
Mr. Netanyahu intends to continue talks with the Palestinians while conducting a thorough review of the concept of the negotiations. A huge stumbling block for this will be Bibi's differentiation between Judea and Samaria, and Gaza as well.
We are here to keep you posted!
Middle East Coorespondant