Daily Israel Report

Peres Meets US Senators McCain, Graham & Barrasso

Republican senators arrived from Afghanistan, are visiting as part of a wider tour of the region.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/4/2014, 10:36 PM

Senators with Peres.
Senators with Peres.
Flash 90

President Shimon Peres held a working meeting at his Jerusalem residence Saturday evening with US Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Barrasso (R-WY). The Republican senators, who arrived from Afghanistan, are visiting as part of a wider tour of the region.

Peres began the meeting by thanking the senators for coming and said, "It's a time of decisions, all decisions are tough but not to make a decision is a mistake. Secretary Kerry in investing significant time and effort and I believe that peace is possible despite the difficulties. Before peace with Egypt people said it's impossible. With the Palestinians it's complicated for them and for us. I have known President Abbas for many years and I believe he really wants peace. There has been some progress but the major decisions are before us and we have to do what we can. It's a changing world, a changing Middle East."

The president and the senators also discussed the Iranian nuclear threat and Peres said, "Terror is the greatest danger for the Arab world. There is almost no coherent Arab country left because of terror. Russia is also undergoing this awful experience. [Beside] we have put before the Iranians, we have to put two more issues – one is the development of long range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, they don't need nuclear missiles if they don't want nuclear weapons. The second thing is stopping Iranian intervention in terror across the world; they are engaged, unfortunately, everywhere.”

Senator John McCain thanked Peres and said, "We've had good meetings with the Prime Minister, with President Abbas, with Secretary Kerry and we have room for guarded optimism. It's a very difficult process but we appreciate Secretary Kerry's great efforts and we also see a willingness that hasn't necessarily always been there in the past. On Iran, we share your comments and we also continue to be worried about Syria."