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Livni: We'll continue to push for peace deal by year's end

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    Livni: We ll continue to push for peace deal by year s end In first public appearance after PM Olmert s announcement that he will step down after Kadima
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2008
      Livni: We'll continue to push for peace deal by year's end
      In first public appearance after PM Olmert's announcement that he will step
      down after Kadima primaries, foreign minister says she has been striving to
      reach agreement with Palestinians this year and will continue to do so,
      calls on all parties to unit behind agenda of Israeli security and peace
      Yitzhak Benhorin YNET Published: 07.31.08, 19:34 / Israel News

      WASHINGTON - Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Thursday that she will
      continue to push for a peace deal with the Palestinians this year, despite
      the uncertainty of the domestic political situation.

      In her first public appearance since Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced
      that he would step down after the Kadima primaries, the party premiership
      candidate said she had been striving to reach an agreement with the
      Palestinians this year. "We continue to do so," she said.

      I am here as the foreign minister of the Israeli government and I can assure
      you that I plan to represent the State of Israel's interests in the future
      as well, Livni said.

      Speaking to reporters after meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in
      New York, the foreign minister said that the internal political procedures
      in Israel did not change the security problems or the need to work for
      kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit's return.

      All candidates are committed to the same interests of the State of Israel,
      she said.

      "Moreover," she added, "I believe that the internal division we are used to,
      and the thought that there are extreme differences in agendas and ideologies
      between the various parties, is an issue of the past and is no longer true.

      "There is a common agenda which can be represented by any party, both in
      terms of the diplomatic issues and in terms of the ability to deal with the

      The foreign minister also conveyed a message to all Israeli parties, in an
      attempt to create an atmosphere of stability and prevent the need for
      general elections. She said all parties should unite behind the agenda of
      Israeli security and the peace process.

      "I will continue to call any party that can be a partner to this agenda to
      put aside all these internal calculations and create unity inwards and
      outwards," she said, adding that all parties' main goal was "to restore the
      public's trust in Israeli politics."

      In her meeting with the UN chief, Livni and Ban discussed the Iranian
      threat, Hizbullah's activity in Lebanon and Hamas' activity in Gaza, as well
      as the efforts to secure Shalit's release.

      Reuters and AP contributed to this report
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