President Peres meets with German FM Westerwelle
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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 President Peres meets with German FM Westerwelle

11/24/2009

Peres: We would like to see a European policy that includes positive elements for peace, and negative elements on terror. To see a leader like Ahmadinejad going around and calling for the destruction of a country is unacceptable.

 
President Peres with FM Westerwelle in Jerusalem (Photo: Yair Engel)

(Communicated by the President's Spokesperson)

President Shimon Peres held a working meeting today (Tuesday November 24, 2009), with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

At the start of the meeting, President Peres stated that “Germany is a key player in the fate of Europe,” and added “We would like to see a European policy that includes both positive and negative elements. Positive for peace, negative on terror. To see a leader like Ahmadinejad going around and calling for the destruction of a country is unacceptable.” The President added that “We are very grateful to the Chancellor and to the government. Ms. Merkel took a very clear position on all the issues, and she gained the admiration of us all. We consider the government of Germany a very friendly government; we depend upon it, and we would like to work together. Now with your addition there will be more energy, more opportunities.”

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle responded warmly, stating that “It is a great honor, for me and my delegation, to visit you and that you found time for us.” The Minister added that “You know we have a very special relationship between our countries and this means for us that we have to look very carefully at what is going in Iran. We share your concerns, we have the same thoughts. And what our Chancellor made clear in Washington is what I said here several minutes ago at the press conference. For us it is absolutely clear that nuclear weapons in the hands of the government of Iran is not an acceptable option. And we have to work with dialogue or with sanctions if this dialogue doesn’t help. To find a good result, a peaceful result. Not only for Israel, not only for the region, but I think it’s in the main interest of the whole international community.”

During the meeting, the two discussed methods for advancing the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. On this issue, President Peres said that the present differences between Israel and the Palestinians are not deep and can therefore be bridged. He added that there is a clear majority in Israel in support of the two states for two nations solution. The President said that Israel is willing to go the extra mile to ensure peace with the Palestinians, that the opportunity should not be wasted. President Peres called on both sides to sit down immediately at the negotiation table to advance peace, and to move forward with the formation of a Palestinian state that will stand side by side with Israel.

The Foreign Minister mentioned that he had just come from a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. At the meeting, Prime Minister Fayyad presented plans for the creation of a Palestinian state. The Foreign Minister stated that Germany fully supports two states for two peoples, and will gladly be a mediator in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.


Transcript of remarks by President Peres and German Foreign Minister Westerwelle


President Peres: Congratulations, I remember our previous meetings, you had some doubts. I was more sure than you were, I think. And I’m very glad to see the new government headed by the Chancellor. Germany is a key player in the fate of Europe. The future of Europe is also very important for the Middle East. Peace today is really on the threshold. I hope it will turn in the right direction.  Because the political differences were minimized, the psychological differences were enlarged.

I see in the present crisis more psychology than politics. And for this reason, all of us must be very very careful and wise not to overdo it. And also a new leadership for Europe, or a new concept with Europe. And to say it very briefly, we would like to see European policy that includes both positive and negative elements. Positive for peace, negative on terror. To see a leader like Ahmadinejad going around and calling for the destruction of a country is unacceptable. And I know they may take in some new countries, they have nothing against it. But provided the new countries will also accept the European position.

We are very grateful to the Chancellor and to the government. Ms. Merkel took a very clear position on all the issues and she gained the admiration of us all. We consider the government of Germany a very friendly government. We depend upon it, and we would like to work together. Now with your addition there will be more energy, more opportunities. I really want to congratulate you on your new position. Thank you very much.

Foreign Minister Westerwelle: It’s a great honor, for me and my delegation, to visit you and that you found time for us. It is not our first meeting, but it is now our first meeting in my new office and I really want to continue our partnership and I mean the partnership between our countries. We knew our responsibility and we built on the other side on friendship and good partnership. We think it is possible.

You know we have a very special relationship between our countries, and this means for us that we have to look very carefully at what is going in Iran. We share your concerns, we have the same thoughts. And what our Chancellor made clear in Washington is what I said here several minutes ago in the press conference. For us it is absolutely clear that nuclear weapons in the hands of the government of Iran is not an acceptable option. And we have to work with dialogue or with sanctions if this dialogue doesn’t help. To find a good result, a peaceful result. Not only for Israel, not only for the region, but I think it’s in the main interest of the whole international community.

 
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