Israeli coalition's row over foreign policy more a result of internal politics

15:18, December 29, 2010      

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by Adam Gonn

In the aftermath of the harsh comments by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on the government's foreign policies, the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seemingly trying to lower the tension in his coalition.

Lieberman, the leader of the second largest party in the current cabinet, recently accused Turkey of being liars and branded efforts by Netanyahu to achieve a peace agreement with the Palestinians as "unrealistic."

"He doesn't humiliate me. He expressed his opinion," the premier said in a televised interview Monday night, refraining from criticizing Lieberman.

However, questions have been raised in Israel over who is actually in charge of setting the country's foreign policy and whether or not the row could lead to an election being called for.

The opposition Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni issued a statement, saying that "Lieberman said what every citizen in Israel knows: Israel has a government with no real policies, a government without direction and a government without leadership."

Analysts told Xinhua that the tension in the coalition was part of the haggling over the next budget which needs to be passed by the end of the year.

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