Lieberman says Israel is ready for negotiations

BERLIN (JTA) — Israel is prepared to resume negotiations with the Palestinians without pre-conditions, Israel’s foreign minister said. 

Avigdor Lieberman at a meeting Thursday in Berlin with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle also said that Israel plans to open a consulate in Berlin in addition to its embassy.

The German administration stressed the importance of a quick resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, with a two-state solution within one year as the goal, the German news agency DPA reported. 

The Palestinian leadership has demanded a stop to building in Jewish settlements in the West Bank as a condition to restarting the talks.

Both Lieberman and Amr Moussa, head of the Arab League, which advises that Palestinians withdraw from talks unless settlement construction stops, held meetings with German leaders in the past day. DPA reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel, meeting Thursday with Moussa, urged him to remain "constructive."

Lieberman said it is time for the Palestinians to reciprocate, given the "goodwill gestures" from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UPI reported.

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