Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tsipi Livni Makes the Case for Diplomacy

Israeli FM Tsipi Livni with U.S. President George Bush, September 2006
(Photo: Eric Draper, Office of the President)

In an interview with Ari Shavit, Israeli Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni makes clear her ambitions to run for the position of prime minister in the future. She also promotes her independent diplomatic initiative, for which some Knesset members are hoping to have her fired.

On the peace process with the Palestinians:
I think that I can conduct talks with Abbas that will clarify what they want to achieve in the two-state vision. On the one hand, I want to anchor my interests on the security issue, demilitarization and the refugee problem, and on the other I want to create a genuine alternative for the Palestinians that includes a solution to their national problem. If we achieve such an alternative, the moderate Palestinians will have to receive a mandate to implement it. At a certain point, it will also be necessary to bring in moderate Arab countries to support the plan. It may also be possible to formulate some of the basic principles of the final status agreement, even if it's impossible to reach such an agreement now.
On last summer's Lebanon war and its aftermath:
Yes. During those days, the thinking was too militaristic. But I think that today, in the wake of the war, there's a better understanding that the strategy cannot be only military. They understand that in the army too. At the beginning of the war, some people thought that the diplomatic role was to provide the army with time. That's understandable: In the past we always achieved, we conquered, we released, we won, and then the world came and took away from us. The victory was military and the failure political. But this time it was the opposite.

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