2014-02-07T135429Z_3_CBREA1515ML00_RTROPTP_2_CNEWS-US-PALESTINIANS-ISRAEL-USA

Israeli foreign minister defends peace-maker Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry waves while boarding his plane at Franz-Josef-Strauss Airport in MunichBy Dan Williams JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s right-wing foreign minister on Friday defended U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry whose Middle East peace drive has seen mounting criticism from within the Israeli government. The conciliatory remarks by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has previously been a vocal critic of international efforts to set up a Palestinian state on Israeli-occupied territory, could help Kerry cobble together consensus for pursuing the peace negotiations. “I want to make clear – Kerry is a true friend of Israel,” Lieberman told business leaders in Tel Aviv. “What is the point of turning friend into foe?” Lieberman has taken a more circumspect tack since resuming the role of foreign minister after he was cleared of graft charges last year.

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