No Talks Under Fire, PM Tells Sen. Lieberman

(Ha'aretz) Aluf Benn - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon used the occasion of a meeting with U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman in Jerusalem Sunday to say that "even if Saddam Hussein is toppled, other threats will remain in the Middle East, and it's important to stick to the principle of not negotiating under fire and terror." Lieberman equated terror attacks against Israel with world terrorism, and said that in his 14 years in the Senate he has never seen so much bipartisan support for Israel, attributing it to the war on terrorism. He said there was a small movement, mostly in campuses, demanding an end to the settlements and improvement of humanitarian conditions for Palestinians. After a war in Iraq, that movement will grow, he said. Sharon said that settlements are part of Israel's security concept, "as I showed President Bush," he said, referring to a helicopter ride with Bush during a 1988 visit here, while he was still the governor of Texas. The settlements were established on state land, Sharon said, in the birthplace of the Jewish people - "but nonetheless, we are ready for painful compromises for peace. I will not compromise over Israel's security and its citizens, but I am ready to go far enough on other issues."

2002-12-23 00:00:00

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