Koenig's International News
Washington: 5:35:19 am - April 23, 2014 - Jerusalem: 11:35:19 am - Nisan 23, 5774

Lapid threatening to leave Netanyahu's coalition if peace talks end

Yesh Atid will leave Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's governing coalition if negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians end and there is no diplomatic process taking place, party leader Yair Lapid said in closed conversations Tuesday.

Officials in Yesh Atid confirmed a Channel 10 report that past commitments Lapid made to remove his party from the coalition if there are no peace talks applied to the situation that could arise in upcoming days. The officials said the threat to leave was serious but not immediate.

"It is not as if we will leave the day after talks break down," a Yesh Atid official said.

Netanyahu to Palestinians:
When you want peace, let us know

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu criticized the Palestinian Authority on Monday, saying that its threat to dissolve and the ruling Fatah faction’s efforts to forge unity with Hamas indicate a lack of desire for peace.

“Today, we saw the Palestinian Authority speak of dismantling itself and also talking about unity with Hamas,” the premier told revelers at a Mimuna celebration in Or Akiva. “They should decide – either dissolve, or enter into a union with Hamas. When they want peace, they should let us know. Because we want a genuine peace.”

Palestinian officials in Ramallah on Monday denied that the Palestinian Authority has been considering dissolving itself if the peace talks with Israel fail.

Abbas doesn't want peace

Senior political source talks to Ynet, responds to Abbas's demands for extending peace talks, as additional meeting between sides ends without results.

Israel has responded to the demands set forth earlier today by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas according to which he would be willing to extend peace talks if Israel would freeze settlement construction and talks would focus on delineating final border arrangements between Israel and the future-Palestinian state.

Israeli, Palestinian and American negotiators met for another round of talks on Tuesday, though sources from both sides of the divide say strong disagreements remain.

"The meaning of what Abbas said," a senior political source said, "is that the Palestinians do not want peace. Because those who do (want peace) do not continue to make demands they know Israel cannot accept."

US: Dissolution of PA would have ‘grave implications’

Egypt, Russia said close to deal for advanced jets
paid for by Saudi Arabia and the UAE

Egypt is slated to sign a deal with Russia to purchase 24 advanced MiG-35 fighter jets, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported Tuesday, citing official sources in Moscow and Cairo.

Ahead of the agreement for the sophisticated aircraft — not sold as of yet to any other country — a delegation of Russian advisers are currently in Cairo meeting with officials.

According to a February report of the deal, Egypt was prepared to buy a number of MiG-29 planes, as well as Mi-35 helicopters and other hardware, for over $3 billion. RIA Novosti listed Saudi Arabia and the UAE as funding the purchase.

It is not known when the planes would be sent to Egypt. The Russian Air Force is waiting on 100 new MiG 35s, which are expected to be delivered in 2016, according to a report in Jane’s Defence last week.

The sale to Egypt could be seen as a major blow to US President Barack Obama, who has fought charges of weakening US power in the face of Russian intervention in Ukraine. The Channel 2 analyst described it as a potential case of “Obama losing Egypt to Putin.”

Russia has ‘days, not weeks’ to stem Ukraine crisis

Masked pro-Russian gunmen guard an entrance to the Ukrainian regional office of the Security Service, with a Russian National flag in the background, in Luhansk, Ukraine, Monday, April 21, 2014
(photo credit: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Russia has “days, not weeks” to abide by an international accord aimed at stemming the crisis in Ukraine, the top US diplomat in Kiev warned Monday as Vice President Joe Biden launched a high-profile show of support for the pro-Western Ukrainian government. Russia in turn accused authorities in Kiev of flagrantly violating the pact and declared their actions would not stand.

Biden, the highest-ranking American official to visit Ukraine during its conflict with Russia, planned to meet with government officials in the capital of Kiev on Tuesday. The vice president also planned to announce new technical support to help the fledgling government with energy and economic reforms.

Biden’s trip comes days after the US, Russia, Ukraine and Europe signed an agreement in Geneva calling for Moscow to use its influence to get pro-Russian forces to leave the numerous government buildings they now occupy in cites throughout eastern Ukraine. The US asserted on Monday that publicly available photographs from Twitter and other media show that some of the troops in eastern Ukraine are Russian special forces, and the US said the photos support its case that Moscow is using its military to stir unrest in Ukraine.

U.S. Conducts Spy Flight Over Russia

After a tit-for-tat series of delays, the United States conducted an Open Skies Treaty intelligence flight over Russian territory on Monday, a State Department official said.

The spy flight originally was scheduled for April 14 but was canceled by Russia after a U.S. team for the flight failed to arrive near Moscow on time and Moscow refused temporarily to reschedule it.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman also expressed anger on Monday over U.S. delays in certifying a new high-tech Russian aircraft to be used for spying missions over the United States under the Open Skies Treaty that permits limited legal spying over U.S. and Russian territory.

Pro-Russian leader rejects Geneva agreement

A leader among pro-Russian activists occupying government buildings in eastern Ukraine has said his side will not move until Kyiv's interim government steps down. This follows a de-escalation agreement made in Geneva.

Speaking from the eastern city of Donetsk on Friday, a spokesman for the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic said his side would not abide by the conditions of a international deal to vacate the seized buildings until the interim government in Kyiv stepped down.

"We agree that the buildings should be vacated, but first (Prime Minister Arseniy) Yatsenyuk and (acting President Oleksandr) Turchynov must leave the buildings that they are occupying illegally since their coup d'etat," said Denis Pushilin.

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in the midst of a wave of protests earlier this year. Russia – and separatists in Ukraine – do not recognize the legitimacy of the new interim government in Kyiv.

Not Even the Threat of War in Europe Can Unite the E.U.


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Updates From Washington



'Koenig's Eye View from the White House'
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Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither
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Inspired by God

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