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Lieberman: Israel obligated by ‘road map,’ not Annapolis

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is not obligated by commitments made at the 2007 Annapolis conference, but must adhere to the "road map," Avigdor Lieberman said.

At a ceremony Wednesday marking the start of Lieberman’s tenure as Israel’s foreign minister, Lieberman said, "There is only one document that binds us and it is not the Annapolis conference," which restarted peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

He said Israel’s government only adopted the 2002 road map, and that Israel will adhere to its requirements scrupulously. Lieberman pointed out that the road map requires the Palestinians to stop terrorism and set up a viable government.

President George W. Bush launched the roap map toward establishing a sovereign Palestinian state. It calls for a settlement freeze as well as an end to Palestinian violence. U.S. policy has been to expect the parties to live up to their obligations independently. Israel has insisted on "sequencing"; that is, addressing settlements only after the violence has stopped.

Lieberman, who was accused during the recent campaign election of questioning the loyalty of Israeli Arabs, has said he is committed to a two-state solution.

In his address, Lieberman said he would like to visit Egypt and welcomed its leaders to Israel, and that Egypt is important for achieving Mideast stability. Late last year, Lieberman said during a Knesset session that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak "should come here. If he doesn’t want to come here, he can go to hell." 

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