Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman urged the US president's special representative for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, yesterday to give up seeking a bilateral peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, The Jerusalem Post reported.
During a weekly meeting with his party Yisrael Beytenu Lieberman called on Greenblatt to focus instead on securing regional peace between other Arab countries and Israel.
"Since 1993, several [Israeli] governments have attempted to achieve peace with the Palestinians based on bilateral agreements, but they failed," said the defence minister.
Giving examples of the obstacles Palestinians have put in the way of peace efforts Lieberman said that the Palestinian leadership refused to condemn the recent murder of an Israeli police officer. In addition to this they have promoted a series of hostile resolutions against Israel at the UN.
"With such intentions, I doubt whether we can advance anything, let alone a historic or far-reaching agreement," Lieberman said.
"Therefore, we call on the American envoy to ditch the bilateral track and instead invest all efforts into a regional arrangement. If all the energy is invested in normalising ties between Israel and the Arab states, the Palestinians and all others will have no choice but to join the initiative."
Greenblatt, along with the senior advisor of the US president and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, arrived in the region to carry out meetings and conduct discussions with Israeli and Palestinian officials about the peace process.