Minister Katz
Minister Katz Yisrael Mark Sallem

Foreign Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz today addressed the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic conference where he welcomed the Trump Administration's announcement on the legality of communities in Judea and Samaria. "There is no dispute about the right of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel," Katz said. "This is the right response to the European Court decision and the boycott attempt against Israel."

Katz said the main threat to the region is Iran through its nuclear program, ballistic missiles, and support for organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

"The U.S. sanctions against Iran are important and effective and the 'maximum pressure' campaign must be continued," Katz said. "We see the demonstrations in Iraq, Lebanon and also in Iran and it is clear that the pressure is working. The publics in the Arab states and in Iran itself are rising against Iran's brutal oppression."

Katz turned to Iran's recent nuclear program restart: "Now is the time for the world, led by the United States, to have an effective military threat against the Iranian regime, if it will continue its nuclear program.

"Together with the threats, there are also opportunities to advance Israel's relations with the Arab Gulf States. I am promoting, together with the Prime Minister, and in full support of the United States, two related initiatives:

"First, we are working on 'non-belligerency agreements' between Israel and the Arab Gulf States.

"We have no conflict with the Gulf states, and we have common interests in the field of security against the Iranian threat as well as in developing many joint civilian initiatives.

"Israel has a lot of capabilities in many areas, including hi-tech, innovation, agriculture and water technology, which can help the Gulf States, and the Gulf States have many capabilities that can help Israel as well.

"Second, the 'Tracks for Regional Peace' initiative will connect the Gulf countries by rail, through Jordan, to Israel and the Mediterranean ports in Haifa.

"I presented these initiatives to US Secretary of the Treasury Menuchin and other senior officials in the American administration and we decided to set up joint teams to advance both of these initiatives," Katz concluded.

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