Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank, addressed on Tuesday the audience at the 12th Annual Herzliya Conference.
“Every time I visit [Israel], I’m always struck by the energy and vitality which underscores to me in many ways that Israel is a very vital country,” Zoellick said.
He praised some of the actions that have been taken so far to solve the economic crisis in Europe and stressed the importance of Germany as a strong economy to helping solve the crisis.
“I think Germany, because it’s the only player who can do this, needs to go a step further and point out things that will be done if countries take actions,” he said. “This is one of the ironies of history: Germans, who for 60 some years have demonstrated their role as a committed partner in Europe, will now have to take a leadership role if that Europe is to be saved.”
Zoellick also spoke of the Middle East and the economy in light of the Arab Spring protests and said that all countries in the Middle East could be important for future economic development.
“Egypt sees itself, justifiably, as a much larger country, as a country that has a much deeper Arab heritage,” he said. “Even a smaller country like Tunisia or Morocco – the success there in terms of people owning it, participating, could be very important over time.”
He added, “At the same time where we need to work with all countries this is going to be an important part of the formula for success.”