Israel FM slams West for 'inconsistencies' on Mideast unrest



JERUSALEM- Ultra-nationalist Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman hit out at Western governments on Tuesday for giving greater support to rebels in Libya than in the Jewish state's main foes Syria and Iran.
"The repression that has met the demonstrations in Syria, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere in the region cannot possibly be justified," Lieberman's office quoted him as telling a diplomatic reception.



"However, it remains confusing why the international community intervenes in Libya but not in Syria or Iran," he added.
"These inconsistencies send a damaging message to the people of the Middle East and further erode the path to peace, security and democracy for our region."
NATO leads an air campaign authorised by the UN Security Council to protect civilians against forces loyal to veteran Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi but Western support for protest movements in Iran and Syria has been far less substantial.
Lieberman renewed his opposition to any new moratorium on Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, as demanded by the Palestinian leadership as a precondition for a return to peace talks.
"We are ready for immediate talks without preconditions. However, there will be no new moratorium in Jerusalem or Judaea and Samaria (the southern and northern West Bank) -- not for three months, not for three days and not even for three hours," said Lieberman, who himself has a home in a West Bank settlement south of Jerusalem.
"At least for me, it is clear that they are only looking for excuses to avoid meaningful talks that will lead to a comprehensive solution."
Direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed late last year over a dispute about persistent settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, including annexed Arab east Jerusalem.
Israel declined to extend a limited moratorium on new building.
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Wednesday, May 11th 2011
AFP
           


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