JERUSALEM, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Radio on Tuesday that Israel will agree to resume discussing Palestinian prisoners' release if the Palestinian Authority rescinds its request to join 15 UN conventions.
In a phone call from New York where Lieberman is currently visiting, he told the radio that the only way to discuss the Palestinians prisoners' release is if the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cancels his request to join 15 international treaties and blamed him for the current crisis in the talks.
The foreign minister said that Abbas' move was made just as Israel and the Palestinians were on the verge of closing a deal on the release of the remaining Palestinian prisoners.
Israel resumed negotiations with the Palestinians last July and authorized the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners. So far 78 prisoners have been released and another group of 26 prisoners was set to be released by the end of March.
There have been attempts to salvage the crisis and resume peace talks, which are supposed to end by April 29, and Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni met with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and U.S. Mideast Envoy Martin Indyk twice on Sunday and on Monday, without any results.
The hawkish foreign minister said on Sunday that he would rather face another round of elections than release Israeli-Arab prisoners.