News / Middle East

Israeli Right-Winger Lieberman to Return as Foreign Minister

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (C) enters the courtroom to hear the verdict in the corruption charges against him at the Magistrate Court in Jerusalem, Nov. 6, 2013.
Former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (C) enters the courtroom to hear the verdict in the corruption charges against him at the Magistrate Court in Jerusalem, Nov. 6, 2013.
Reuters
— The Israeli Cabinet approved on Sunday the return of far-right leader Avigdor Lieberman as foreign minister after his acquittal on corruption charges, in a move that could further complicate peace talks with the Palestinians.
    
Lieberman stepped down last year when he was indicted. His reinstatement to the role, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had held open for him, is likely to harden the tone of Israeli diplomacy.
    
As head of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party, which is allied with Netanyahu's Likud, Lieberman has been outspoken in his skepticism about the U.S.-sponsored negotiations that resumed in July after a three-year impasse, saying that reaching a permanent peace deal was impossible.
    
Netanyahu last week painted a grim picture of the talks, saying they had failed to make progress. Visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Israel it could face a third Palestinian uprising if they failed.
    
An Israeli government official, who asked not to be identified, said the Cabinet endorsed Lieberman's appointment at its weekly meeting but that final approval was needed from parliament.
    
A Jerusalem court on Wednesday acquitted Lieberman on charges of fraud and breach of trust stemming from allegations he had given an Israeli diplomat an ambassador's post in exchange for a tip-off about a police probe into his affairs.
    
Lieberman, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, has stirred controversy by questioning the loyalty of Israel's Arab citizens and proposing some Arab communities in Israel be shifted to Palestinian control in a land-for peace deal.
    
He has also called for the removal of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, describing him as an obstacle to peace.
    
In his previous government, Netanyahu had largely sidelined Lieberman in Israel's dealings with its main ally, the United States, and other Western powers.
    
But political analysts said Lieberman may be given a more prominent diplomatic role in the administration Netanyahu formed in March in return for helping the prime minister fend off any challenge from an ultranationalist newcomer in the cabinet, Naftali Bennett, and hardliners within Likud.
    
Some political commentators, however, see Lieberman as a potential rival to Netanyahu in any future election, now that the corruption case is behind him.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid