French, Spanish FM accuse Lieberman of violating diplomatic etiquette

October 11, 2010

The foreign ministers of Spain and France on Monday told their Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman that he had “violated every rule of diplomatic etiquette,” an Israeli paper reported on Monday.

During a dinner meeting on Sunday, Lieberman told France’s Bernard Kouchner and Spain’s Miguel Angel Moratinos to “solve your own problems in Europe before you come to us with complaints. Maybe then I will be open to accepting your suggestions.”

Lieberman emphasized to that “Israel will not be the Czechoslovakia of 2010,” at their meeting at the foreign ministry offices in Jerusalem.

However, during a telephone conversation between the three foreign ministers on Monday, the European ministers voiced their extreme dismay with the fact that details of the meeting were made public an hour after it took place. “You violated our trust,” they said to Lieberman, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

Moratinos said that Lieberman had apologized for what had happened during the meeting, but Israeli foreign ministry officials denied the statement, saying that Lieberman did not apologize but rather clarified that he did not intend for his remarks to be presented in the media as a reprimand of Kouchner and Moratinos.

The French and Spanish foreign ministers said that they were very surprised by Lieberman’s remarks during Sunday’s meeting, especially in light of the fact that, according to them, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, had made remarks contradicting Lieberman’s tone mere hours before the meeting, the daily reported.

While Netanyahu told the European statesmen that he aims to achieve a peace agreement with the Palestinians within a year, Lieberman stressed to them that “anyone who talks like that is naïve.” The ministers emphasized to Lieberman during their dinner that they completely disagreed with his assertion that a peace deal could not be achieved.

They explained to Lieberman that if a Palestinian state is not established within the next year or two, it would undermine Israel’s security, and urged him to take advantage of the current Palestinian leadership, as no one knows what the alternative will be in the future.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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