In this photo released by the Palestinian Authority, President Barack Obama, center, shake hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, in front of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009. The Israeli and Palestinian leaders shook hands at the start of their first face-to-face meeting Tuesday, hosted by President Barack Obama, but the small gesture was unlikely to translate into a quick resumption of peace talks. Netanyahu and Abbas remain far apart on key issues, including Israeli settlement expansion and the agenda of future talks.
(AP Photo/PPO, Omar Al-Rashidi)
JERUSALEM – Israel’s foreign minister says a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian and American leaders was a victory for Israel because it took place even though Israel refused demands to freeze settlement in the West Bank.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Radio Wednesday that the government "kept its promises to the voter" and showed it is not necessary to "surrender and give in."
Israel agreed only to slow settlement construction in the Palestinian territory for a limited time. President Barack Obama did not explicitly demand a freeze at Tuesday’s meeting in New York, an omission that rankled Palestinians.
The Palestinians say they will not resume negotiations with Israel without a settlement freeze.