Peres: No Compromises With Iran
President Shimon Peres told Germany’s Foreign Minister on Friday that there should be no compromise with Iran so long as it continues its nuclear activities.
Peres and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who held a diplomatic working meeting at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem, discussed the Iranian nuclear threat as well as the efforts to renew the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
"Iran and Syria are interdependent,” Peres told Westerwelle. “Iran is near elections and the sanctions may be having an impact. The sanctions and pressure should be continued in the buildup to the Iranian elections. We should also show support for the Iranian people, we are not against them, they suffer because of their leadership."
He added that it should be made clear to Iran “that there will be no compromise while Iran continues to build a nuclear bomb and remains a center of terror.”
President Peres addressed the need to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and said, "We have to bring the conflict between us and the Palestinians to an end. We have a beginning and a conclusion, two states for two peoples. We now need to bridge the remaining gaps to reach the end of the conflict.
“We must all support the efforts of the American Secretary of State, John Kerry,” he added. “Cynicism is unhealthy for the process, we must show our support in clear terms.”
He also expressed his support for the Arab League voices in favor of peace and said, "The Arab Peace Imitative shows a strategic shift in the Arab world, a shift from a support for war to a support for peace. A renewal of the Arab Peace Initiative could assist John Kerry's efforts to restart the peace process."
Westerwelle also addressed Kerry's peace initiative and said, "I can assure you that Germany is 100% committed to supporting John Kerry's efforts to revitalize talks between Israel and the Palestinians. It is not only the interest of the two countries, the two peoples but of the whole world. We shall do everything to support the initiative; confidence building measures, messages and clear steps are needed. We need not only words but actions."
The German Foreign Minister also addressed the situation in Iran and Syria and said, "Syria shocks us all. We have to handle the situation where a country like Iran works on the option of nuclear arms, which is not acceptable to Germany. Nuclear arms in Iranian hands are not an option for us. I assure you that we stand by our friends, our Israeli friends, and we look forward to continuing this deep and trustful relationship."
Peres concluded his remarks by addressing Israeli-German relations and said that Israel appreciates the friendship with Germany and of Foreign Minister Westerwelle.
Earlier Friday, Westerwelle also met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said that he would travel wherever is needed and will talk to whoever is needed to keep Israel safe and secure.
"It is always a pleasure to host you here in Jerusalem. You are a friend of Israel, Chancellor Merkel is a friend of Israel, Germany is a friend of Israel,” Netanyahu told Westerwelle.
“Today the Middle East is undergoing a period of tremendous and unprecedented instability,” said Netanyahu. “We have not seen such an upheaval in this region for many decades. I follow closely, day and night, the rapidly changing situation around us. I follow closely the very real challenges that this rapidly changing situation poses for the security of Israel. I will travel to where ever needed; I will meet with whoever is needed and I'm doing whatever is needed to protect the security of the citizens of Israel, and I will continue to do so."
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)