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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Avigdor Lieberman - A Problem for Obama

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government was sworn in Tuesday - just one day later his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, set off a firestorm by saying he judged Israel was no longer bound by agreements reached at the late-2007 peace conference convened by the U.S. in Annapolis, Maryland.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit was one of the first to react. He said he would not shake hands with Lieberman until Lieberman reversed his position on Annapolis - and also retracted some public slights he had earlier voiced against Egypt. Given Egypt's close alliance with the United States, the verbal battle between the two allies spelled big trouble for Washingon's posture in the Middle East. Lieberman's words also increased the numbers of voices in the region calling for the U.S. to distance itself from the Netanyahu government.


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