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Israeli FM suggests "long-term intermediate solution" for Middle East

09-04-2010 08:28 BJT

NICOSIA, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman came out on Friday in support for a "long-term intermediate solution" to the Middle East problem.

"The best and realistic approach would be a long-term intermediate agreement or solution" to the complicated dispute between Israel and Palestine, Lieberman told reporters after talks with his Cypriot counterpart Marcos Kyprianou.

He suggests that the newly-launched direct peace talks should focus on security and economy.

Lieberman said he is not sure if it is possible to solve all the "emotional problems" such as Jerusalem, refugees and Jewish settlement this year or next.

The Israeli foreign minister is paying a two-day official visit to Cyprus -- a further indication of Israel's drive to build closer relations with neighboring countries.

His talks with Kyprianou focused on the Middle East peace process, the Cyprus problem and a joint Cyprus-Greece initiative for the transportation of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza strip.

Lieberman gave a cautious response to the proposal, saying there are technical issues to be solved.

Both Kyprianou and Lieberman condemned terrorist attacks mounted by the armed section of Hamas Islamist group which aimed at derailing the Middle East peace process.

Cyprus President Demetris Christofias is expected to visit Israel in the coming months. His visit will top a long list of meetings between the foreign ministers of Israel and Cyprus. They met seven times over the past eight months.

Cyprus is the nearest non-Islamic country to Israel, with only about 300 kilometers of sea between them.

An Israeli source traveling with Lieberman said Israel is very much interested in building close cooperation with Cyprus and having access to Larnaca airport, the nearest European airport to Tel Aviv.

The source added that Cyprus and Israel aim at enhancing their economic ties, including having consultations on exploitation of undersea natural gas in neighboring areas of their respective economic sea zones.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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