Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said no Palestinian state will be founded in the next two years.
Lieberman appeared to be referring to a call by the so-called Quartet of Middle East peace brokers -- Russia, the United States, the European Union, and United Nations -- for an accord to be in place by 2012.
Lieberman, speaking after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Jerusalem, cited difficulties in U.S.-mediated peace negotiations as well as divisions among the Palestinians.
The West Bank government of Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas accused Lieberman of defying international efforts to wrap up a deal. The militant group Hamas called Lieberman's comments "a severe slap" to those who believe in what they called the "mirage" of a peace agreement.
compiled from agency reports