Israel`s Prime Minister visits Romania
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 06, 2011, 16:05
  
Bucharest: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Romania on Wednesday to try to drum up opposition to UN recognition of a Palestinian state, as his country's hardline foreign minister warned of a tough response if the Palestinians take the issue to the world body.

Avigdor Lieberman told reporters in Israel on Wednesday that "unilateral steps will force us to take unilateral steps." He declined to elaborate, but in the past he's suggested that Israel could annul past peace agreements or annex parts of the West Bank.

With peace talks deadlocked for more than two years, the Palestinians plan to ask the UN to recognise their independence in September. The move would be largely symbolic but the Palestinians hope it will pressure Israel to withdraw from captured territories they claim for a future state.

Both sides have been lobbying hard. Netanyahu has already visited Britain and France, among other countries, and continues on to Bulgaria on Thursday.

The European Union is working to forge a common position on the issue even as EU countries are split over Palestinian statehood. France has said it will support recognition if negotiations between Israel and Palestinians don't restart by September, while Germany and Italy are likely to oppose it.

Bureau Report


First Published: Wednesday, July 06, 2011, 16:05


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