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PA denounces Lieberman remarks on Abbas

Aug. 8, 2012 6:17 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 9, 2012 2:50 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman asserted Tuesday that President Mahmoud Abbas is the most significant obstacle to peace, sparking anger from Palestinian officials.

In a meeting with visiting Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, Lieberman slammed the Palestinian Authority for a letter it sent to the EU in July urging it to reconsider its relations with Israel.

He told Carr that the Palestinians were "falsely accusing Israel of exploiting natural resources, closures in Gaza, demolishing projects in Area C and more," the Israel HaYom newspaper reported.

He added that the only logical conclusion was that "as long as Abbas heads the Palestinian Authority, there can be no progress" in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the newspaper said.

In a response Wednesday, a Palestinian Authority spokesman rejected Lieberman's remarks.

"Israel themselves are not interested in achieving peace with Palestinians," Abbas aide Nabil Abu Rudeina told reporters, referring to the comments as incitement.

"These declarations are contrary to all norms of diplomacy and democracy, and Israel is responsible for every word it said about Mahmoud Abbas," Rudeina said.
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