Lieberman Makes Low Key Return to Knesset

YERUSHALAYIM -

The return of Israel’s combative foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, to his post on Tuesday was uncharacteristically low-key, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Lieberman, who spoke his mind with undiplomatic candor during his previous tenure, seemed a different man in his first appearance at the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday morning, calling for calm in the current tiff with the United States, and for a speedy resolution to a protracted ministry labor dispute.

Addressing a gathering of ministry staff, he made no reference at all during his remarks to the negotiations with the Palestinians or the Iranians.

“Our relations with U.S. are paramount, and without that we can’t maneuver in the present world,” he said. “The disagreements are natural and always existed, and simply do not need to be heard the way they are being heard outside. I think that a calming sound needs to be heard,” he said.

Accordingly, Lieberman said that his first appointment would be with U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro.

Lieberman also moved quickly to recommend that Zev Elkin stay on as deputy foreign minister, which was approved by the government Tuesday morning.

Regarding the labor dispute that has hampered ministry functioning for months and has brought down morale, Lieberman said to applause that this needed to be resolved “as soon as possible.”