Lieberman says talks to be futile




Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman paints a grim picture of results of talks between Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials.

"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 at a conference of his ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party in Tel Aviv on Sunday.

"There is nothing we can do about it. No historical compromise and no painful concession (will do)," he added.

Lieberman promised that his party would fight against further construction freezes and unilateral concessions.

"The Israeli government declared the freeze unilaterally, and all it got us was accusations from the Palestinians, who called it a scam," he said.

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

His comments came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas are preparing to meet again on September 14 for the second round of direct talks in Cairo, Egypt.

The last round of direct talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel broke off in December 2008 when Israel launched a deadly onslaught on the Gaza Strip, killing at least 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians.

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