US, Israel agree on 19 of 20 points, says Israeli foreign minister

June 19th, 2009 - 4:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 19 (ANI): Playing down reports of fresh differences of understanding with Washington, the visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that both the countries at most have a disagreed on only one point.

“There can be a disagreement on one issue. There are at least 20 different issues and I think that for 19 of the issues there is understanding and agreement,” The Jerusalem Post quoted him, as saying.

He added, “On both sides, there is a desire to reach agreement, even on this point.”

Yet, Lieberman reiterated that natural growth in the settlements would continue, saying, “We are not prepared to strangle our own people,”

A day before, he made a similar declaration while standing beside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

He said the meetings with Clinton and other top US officials during his first visit as foreign minister have focused primarily on topics including Iran, Syria, terrorism and the peace process rather than settlements.

Lieberman described all parties as reconsidering the situation in Iran in the light of the recent chaos there following the presidential election last week.

Israel has been sceptical of the American approach of diplomatic outreach to Iran, and some have questioned its feasibility as protests have rocked the Islamic Republic.

At Wednesday’s joint press conference with Lieberman, Clinton spoke of the importance of engagement, and the US commitment to that path.

But there are indications that the US may be recalculating its approach, given the unfolding events; including reports suggesting that Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden are pushing for a more aggressive posture in favour of the protesters. (ANI)

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