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Barak in Colombia: Time for Serious Sanctions on Iran

Defense Minister Ehud Barak meets with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos in the Colombian capital Bogota.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 4/18/2012, 6:46 AM

Barak and Colombian president Santos
Barak and Colombian president Santos
Reuters

Defense Minister Ehud Barak met on Tuesday with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos in the Colombian capital Bogota.

During the meeting, which lasted for over an hour, Barak thanked Santos for his country’s support for Israel in international forums.

Barak also addressed the Iranian nuclear threat and told Santos, “It is time for serious sanctions against Iran. Iran is a threat not only to Israel but a threat to the entire world order. The goal should be to stop Iran from its efforts to obtain nuclear weapons.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Barak said that Israel has not given the U.S. a commitment to hold off from striking Iran while the U.S. and other countries are holding talks with the Persian theocracy.

Barak said in a radio interview that he does not believe the attempts to stop Iran's nuclear program through negotiation will succeed.

Other issues Barak discussed with the Colombian president included the cooperation between the two countries as well as the peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Barak noted the fact that both countries are fighting terrorism and said that security cooperation between Israel and Colombia will be expanded.

“Colombia is a true friend of Israel's and I will work to expand the cooperation between the two countries in technology, agriculture, education and promoting excellence,” he said.

Regarding the peace negotiations, Barak said, “Israel wants to move forward in negotiations with the Palestinians to reach a solution of two states for two peoples. We expect the Palestinians to enter real negotiations, without preconditions, in order to reach an agreement for the benefit of both sides.”

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with a delegation of PA officials consisting of chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and a senior PA security official, Majed Faraj. PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad pulled out of the meeting at the last minute.

During the meeting, the PA delegation delivered a letter from PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas to Netanyahu.

In the letter, Abbas reportedly demands Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as borders for a future PA state, halt all construction in the 'disputed territories,' and release all Arab terrorists from its prisons.