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Livni: no rush to interim agreement

November 7, 2008 | 2:20 am

Israel will continue participating in the peace process as long as its political and security interests are met, Tzipi Livni said this week.

Israel's foreign minister met Tuesday with Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch in advance of a meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"The world needs to back the process being conducted and not ask Israel for shortcuts that will harm its ability to secure its needs," Livni told Welch.

In an interview Monday with Ynet, Livni said she will not rush to sign an interim agreement with the Palestinians by year's end, the target date set by the United States. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that the sides would not be able to reach the goal.

Livni granted the rare one-on-one interview in advance of a meeting Sunday of the Mideast Quartet in Sharm el-Sheik to mark one year since the Annapolis peace conference. She and Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia are scheduled to deliver a joint progress report.

"I am going there to present the Israeli standpoint before the foreign ministers and Quartet brass, and to present what we have accomplished," Livni told Ynet. "I will tell them that Israel is genuine in its desire to continue the negotiations. However, I intend to continue these talks as they have been conducted thus far.

"The talks aim to negotiate the various points of all the issues on the agenda, and so far this is how they have gone. I have no intention of capitulating to any sort of pressure to produce interim documents."

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