Barroso Talks Peace and Iran with Netanyahu
José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, met on Monday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The two leaders “discussed the importance of expanding cooperation between Israel and Europe in all areas, Iran's effort to arm itself with nuclear weapons and the resumption of the peace talks with the Palestinians,” Netanyahu's office said in a statement quoted by AFP.
European Union officials said in a statement that the two leaders “also discussed the regional situation with president Barroso stating the EU's support for democratic change and political and economic reforms in the wider neighborhood.”
The statement added, “They also discussed vital threats in the region and exchanged views on the on-going diplomatic process aimed at solving the nuclear issue on Iran.”
AFP reported that Barroso also met on Monday evening with President Shimon Peres, with talks centering on the peace process and Iran.
“We appreciate Europe's position concerning the Iranian nuclear program. Iran is the headquarters of world terrorism and the world must stop the Tehran regime from obtaining nuclear weapons,” Peres told Barroso, according to a statement from his office.
Barroso is in the region for a three-day visit that began on Sunday with meetings in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
On Tuesday, Barroso is scheduled to visit the northern Israeli city of Haifa to receive an honorary degree, AFP reported.
Earlier on Monday, Barroso met with Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who told him that the United Nations Human Rights Commission is "a rotten organization, both morally and politically."
He called on Barroso to side with Israel and withdraw from the UNHRC, following the appointment of its new committee for looking into "the settlements and their ramifications for violation of Palestinian human rights."
During his meeting with Abbas and Fayyad on Sunday, Barroso called for a return to talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, warning the peace process must not become “an orphan of the Arab Spring.”
Abbas, however, repeated his usual preconditions: that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as final borders, release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem before talks begin.