Livni is off to meet with European leaders in order to minimize differences over Hamas, but there’s plenty of muddy water to clear on her first trip as FM.
Livni seems intent on running her Foreign Ministry differently than Silvan Shalom under Ariel Sharon, calling this “a fresh new page in Israeli European relations” (AFP).
Which would all be fine and dandy had Silvan Shalom not been entirely correct in his frequent criticisms of Europe for holding a pronounced Palestinian bias..
Who knows, maybe Livni’s ‘let’s be friends’ strategy will pan out, in any case the routine will need some work.
Livni was quoted as calling Abbas ‘irrelevant’ implying his leadership of the PA in no way dulls the fact that Hamas is running the show as of now, the statement was echoed by Olmert, both in relation to their meeting of US envoy David Welch two days ago.
Today PM Olmert relayed the opposite in his own statement supporting Abbas, and the possibility of always finding a diplomatic partner, Livni was ‘misunderstood’.
After leaving the convention, Olmert said he hopes Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas does not quit.
Addressing earlier remarks by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who said Abbas was no longer relevant, Olmert said her words were not properly understood and added there are no disagreements between him and Livni on the matter.
A day ago Israel again continued to downplay the upcoming Russian / Hamas meeting, implying business as usual and showing little concern.
Today a special meeting by the PM has been called to discuss Israeli Russian relations, in light of Russia inviting Hamas to Moscow, with FM Livni scheduled to attend before leaving to Europe.
Mixed in between all this has been the Kadima man clearly given the strongman position, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who almost daily comes up with the tough line in the press, yesterday’s being along the lines of we can defend against any Iranian attack.
Finesse or simply an unruly mess?
Foreign Ministries and diplomats need a certain flexibility clearly in carrying out their jobs, in order to best finesse. Let’s just hope that Livni’s recent defense of Kadima stating: “Kadima is not a one man party”, refers to its ability to bounce after the loss of Sharon..
And not a myriad of senior politicians recently mashed together, all holding their own senior views as to what direction and strategy the Government of Israel is or should be taking with a wobbly head at the top.
Nice guys always finish last..
Israeli Russian relations are clearly not business as usual, is a harder line finally going to emerge from the impotent Olmert Government on Russia? One that doesn’t rely on Russian assurances, but Israeli ones?
Will Livni’s quest to open a fresh new page include the chapter “Europeans negotiating with terrorist organizations and the subsequent foreign policy ramifications?”
And which Abu ‘No Can Du’ Mazen will be discussed in Europe, the one wistfully dreamed up when he was installed to deflect the incompetence of Yasser Arafat, or the one we’ve all had the privilege of watching doing absolutely nothing this past year and a half, with the result being a Hamas Euro / Iranian funded Terror Entity?
Time will tell..
[tags]Israel, Europe, Palestinian Authority[/tags]