Israeli FM: People Support Netanyahu's Stance

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's response to President Barack Obama's Middle East policy speech "reflect those of most of Israeli society," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday.

"I want to express my support of the prime minister and his important mission," Lieberman told members of his Yisrael Beiteinu party. "He inspired respect and represented the widest consensus in Israeli society."

Lieberman said Israel is ready to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority "at any moment," but without preconditions.

"The prime minister and I stressed that the State of Israel is willing to engage in negotiations at any given moment, but without preconditions…we will not accept dictations or preconditions," he said.

Lieberman said Netanyahu is representing the Israeli people, "not the press," and "there's no need to turn every disagreement into a drama. Not everything is an apocalypse," he said, adding that Israel and the U.S. have more in common than not.

But, he said, the right of return for "Palestinian refugees" is a non-starter.

"I hear the mantra of the right of return," he said. "But anyone who talks of the right of return is speaking about the destruction of the State of Israel. There will be no negotiations on the right of return," Lieberman said.

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