(Communicated by the Foreign Minister's Bureau)
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Prime Minister Tzipi Livni met yesterday (8 July) with the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Salam Fayyad, for the first time since the latter's appointment. The talk centered mostly on the situation in the PA and on ways to improve the lives of the residents without compromising Israel's security.
Minister Livni noted that the new Palestinian government headed by Fayyad seems determined to change the reality of life in the area. Livni and Fayyad also discussed ways in which the Arab world can support the political process, thereby strengthening the dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians as ongoing problems are dealt with.
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On July 9, Foreign Minister Livni said:
"I met yesterday with Salam Fayyad, the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Finance Minister of the new Palestinian government. We discussed the situation in the Palestinian Authority, the need to change the situation on the ground, ways to ease the lives of the Palestinians while simultaneously providing Israel with security.
I believe that the formation of the new Palestinian government can help build a better future for the Palestinians and Israelis. I was impressed by the determination shown by Salam Fayyad, by the way he sees things, his understanding of the opportunity that we are all facing as well as the threats that we all face from Hamas and other extremists in the Gaza Strip. There is an opportunity to move forward with the new government which was impossible before, when the Palestinian government was led by Hamas - an organization which rejected any kind of co-existence and used terror, not to represent the Palestinian people, but to advance religious ideological goals.
This is not my first meeting with him, but this my first meeting after the formation of the new Palestinian government and I believe that we share the same understanding and the determination to change the situation. We agreed to continue to meet regularly, to try to advance these issues."