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Liberman: Israel won’t agree to ‘further conditions’ for talks

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman blamed the Palestinians for lack of progress in peace negotiations.

Liberman also said additional conditions for continuing the talks are a non-starter.

“The Palestinians are the ones torpedoing the talks by setting conditions,” Liberman told Israel Radio on Thursday, according to the Times of Israel. “Israel would not agree to any further conditions for the continuation of talks.”

Liberman was responding to a call by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for Israel to freeze West Bank settlement expansion in order for talks to continue.

The negotiations, which began last July, are nearing the nine-month deadline set by Secretary of State John Kerry at their start. Kerry hopes to persuade both sides to agree to a framework for ongoing negotiations that would extend beyond the deadline. Recent reports indicate that significant gaps remain between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Liberman is set to meet Kerry in Rome on Thursday.

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