FM Liberman meets with Chinese Vice President and Foreign Minister

FM Liberman: We prefer that the international community solve the Iranian nuclear problem through diplomatic negotiations. However, should these prove unsuccessful, it is our right to defend ourselves and we are eeping all options on the table.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman met today in Beijing with China’s Vice President Xi Jinping and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi. 

In their meeting, FM Liberman and his hosts discussed the strengthening of bilateral relations and the promotion of cooperation on issues of agriculture, water, science and technology, all of which are high on the Chinese agenda.

FM Liberman stated: “We are marking 20 years since the establishment of 
diplomatic relations with China. Since then we have made significant progress in 
strengthening the relationship, and our intent is to further expand and 
strengthen the relationship in many additional areas, with special emphasis on 
the next generation. One phase of this objective is the special scholarships for 
study in Israel offered by the State of Israel to 250 Chinese students.”

At a press conference with Chinese media held in Beijing this afternoon, FM 
Liberman stated that “Despite the harsh sanctions, we do not discern any 
willingness on the part of the Iranians to forego their nuclear plans. We prefer 
that the international community solve the problem through diplomatic 
negotiations and other means. However, should these prove unsuccessful, it is 
our right to defend ourselves, and we are keeping all options on the table. We 
believe that the international community is capable of stopping Iran, it is a 
matter of resolve and determination.” FM Liberman expressed his support of the 
position of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and stated: “I agree with her 
that the round of talks with Iran due to begin in April is the last chance for 
the Iranians to resolve the matter peacefully.” FM Liberman added that “If the 
efforts of the international community fail, the consequences will be extremely 
severe for the entire world, and will result in a nuclear arms race and 
political instability in the Middle East as well as instability in the global 
energy market.”

In response to a question regarding IDF attacks in Gaza, FM Liberman stated 
that “Israel truly wants peace with the Palestinians. Israel evacuated thriving 
settlements in the Gaza Strip and returned to the 1967 lines, but since then we 
have been rewarded with constant rocket and terror attacks from Gaza against 
southern Israel. As the well-known Chinese saying goes: we will not attack 
unless we are attacked; but if we are attacked, we will respond with