Livni: Inconceivable that UN invites Iranian leader to speak

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has decided to boycott the speech of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and leave the assembly hall when he speaks. During the time the Iranian President is due to address the UN General Assembly, Livni will attend a reception held by US President George Bush at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Bush scheduled the reception to purposely conflict with Ahmadinejad’s address as an act of protest, and indeed many heads of state have announced they will boycott the speech as well, and attend Bush’s reception instead.

The boycott of the speech is a part of a new diplomatic strategy designed to embarrass Iran on the international scene.

During her speech in front of the General Assembly, Foreign Minister Livni will lash out at Iran and say that there is no room for a country like Iran among the family of nations in the world body. Livni also plans to criticize the UN for hosting such a nation and its leader who calls for the destruction of Israel.

During her meetings at the General Assembly, Livni met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and agreed to continue the dialogue, including a meeting with Prime Minister Olmert.

Abbas told Livni that he estimates that Hamas will not accept the three conditions of the international community and will not adopt the Beirut Initiative from 2002 calling for recognition of Israel.

A large portion of the meeting was dedicated to the issue of the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Abbas avoided raising expectations, but said no progress could be made until Shalit returns home safely.

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