Lieberman: Build peace, don’t impose it

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Peace cannot be imposed, Israel’s foreign minister said following a call by the European Union policy chief to create a Palestinian state even if no agreement is reached with Israel.

"Peace cannot be forced upon anyone; peace must be built," Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Radio Monday.

Javier Solana called on the United Nations Security Council to adopt a two-state solution including borders, refugees, Jerusalem and security by a fixed deadline, whether or not the Palestinians and Israel reach a settlement, Reuters reported.

Solana made his remarks during a lecture Saturday in London.

"[The Security Council] would accept the Palestinian state as a full member of the UN and set a calendar for implementation," Solana said, according to Reuters. "It would mandate the resolution of other remaining territorial disputes and legitimize the end of claims."

The European Union and United Nations are members of the Quartet of Middle East negotiators that also includes the United States and Russia.

"With all due respect to Solana, his statement was the type one makes before retiring or stepping down; one should not read too much into it," Lieberman said during Monday’s interview.

Lieberman also took a swipe at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, saying that he does not represent all Palestinians.

"Who exactly does Abu Mazen represent?" he asked, using Abbas’ nickname. "At best, half the people."

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