JERUSALEM (CBS DC/AP) — The rift between U.S. and Israel continues to grow after the latest comments from Israel’s foreign minister.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday that Israel needs to seek allies other than the United States.

“The Americans have a lot of problems and challenges around the world that they need to solve and they have problems at home. We need to understand them and our place in the global arena,” Lieberman said at the Sderot Conference, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Liberman says relations with the U.S. have “weakened.”

“The link between Israel and its main strategic partner the United States has weakened,” Lieberman stated, according to AFP.

The foreign minister’s comments come as western powers seek a nuclear deal with Iran, a deal that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has roundly criticized.

“We need to stop demanding, complaining, moaning and instead seek countries that are not dependent on money from the Arab or Islamic world and who want to cooperate with us in the field of innovation,” Lieberman said.

Iranian officials say nuclear talks in Geneva have slowed.

“What we are trying now is to rebuild confidence that we lost in the previous round of negotiations,” Iran Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told The Associated Press.

Netanyahu, who is in Russia visiting with President Vladimir Putin, wants a settlement that is “genuine and real.”

“They must not have nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “And I promise you that they will not have nuclear weapons.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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