Lieberman calls peace ‘unattainable goal’

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians is "an unattainable goal," Israel’s foreign minister said.

Avigdor Lieberman called instead Sunday for a long-term interim agreement during a Yisrael Beiteinu party event to welcome Rosh Hashanah.

Also Sunday, the U.S. State Department announced that after the Sept. 14 meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheik, the direct talks will move to Jerusalem.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit Jerusalem to supervise the talks; she will be joined by senior U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell. 

"You have to understand that signing a comprehensive peace agreement is an unattainable goal — not next year and not in the next generation," Lieberman said. "There is nothing we can do about it. No historical compromise and no painful concession (will do)."

Lieberman also said there is "no good reason to continue the settlement freeze." 

"We are willing to discuss anything, but there will be no more unilateral gestures," he said. "We will not agree to any settlement freeze — not for six months, not for three months, not for one minute."

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