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Israel’s Controversial Foreign Minister Sets First Europe Trip

Israel’s controversial foreign minister is set to take his first foreign trip since assuming office. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s itinerary will include the Czech Republic, Italy, France and Germany. Charges of racism have been leveled at Lieberman from Europeans who see his proposals to bar Arabs – or anyone else – who refuse to swear loyalty oaths to the state of Israel from serving in parliament. His proposal for land swaps as part of a permanent agreement with the Palestinians has also drawn fire. Lieberman also caused a diplomatic fuss when he said Israel was not bound by any agreements reached at Annapolis. That prompted American responses concerning the status of Annapolis from sources all the way to the White House. And as attention to the Israel-Syria track grew with cautious optimism, Lieberman said Damascus was “no partner in peace.”