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Monday, September 13, 2010

Lieberman cancels US trip to meet Clinton

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has canceled a trip to the US that was scheduled for Tuesday in order to meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton is arriving in Israel on Tuesday. Clinton and Lieberman last met on June 17, 2009 (although Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon claimed that there was a 'back channel' between them in August 2009) and held a press conference that was described by the Financial Times of London as "one of the most tense encounters between the sides in several years."

Let's go to the videotape. The 'fun' starts with the first question at the 4:10 mark and goes all the way to the 10:30 mark when they move on to Iran.

So why are the two suddenly meeting now? This is speculation on my part, but here's what I think happened.

First, I believe that Clinton requested the meeting because Lieberman pointed out last week that the Emperor has no clothes in the current round of 'peace talks' between Israel and the 'Palestinians.' I believe that Clinton thinks she can bring Lieberman into line (and that she's wrong about that - he's not going to shut up, thankfully).

From Lieberman's perspective, he's never been one to back down from a fight, and this meeting has the additional advantage of bringing him out of his isolation at least temporarily.

But don't bet on them holding a joint press conference and don't bet on either of them convincing the other one of anything.


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