Cairo, April 3 – Egypt on Thursday strongly criticized Israeli new Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for his remarks that he refused to recognize the peace efforts initiated in 2007 in the U.S. city of Annapolis to restore the peace talks with the Palestinians, reported the state MENA news agency.
Lieberman’s remarks is “regrettable,” Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki was quoted as saying, adding “his remarks are the first blow to the peace efforts to come from the Israeli new government.”
On Wednesday, Lieberman said Israel is not bound by the Annapolis conference, while stressing that the “only one document that binds us” is the “road map” peace plan, a blueprint initiated in 2003 that calls for a two-state solution to the historic Mideast conflict.
“Anyone who thinks that making concessions will win us praise and peace is wrong. On the contrary, it will bring more wars,” Israeli news service Ynet quoted Lieberman as saying at the hand- over ceremony in the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
On Wednesday, an Egyptian official vowed that Egypt will boycott Lieberman unless he apologizes for insulting statements he has made about the country, according to an Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post.
Lieberman said last October that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak “can go to hell” if he does not want to visit Israel.
But Lieberman said in the hand-over ceremony on Wednesday that Egypt is an important country for the stability of the region, which was described by Zaki as “strange” for Lieberman to made these remarks praising Egypt.
On Thursday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit also lashed out at his Israeli counterpart for his disputed remarks on Egypt.
“If his stance remain unchanged, I will refuse even to shake hands with him,” MENA quoted Abul Gheit as saying in an interview with an Egyptian TV.