President Peres conducted a diplomatic work meeting with the Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Enrico Letta
President Peres to Prime Minister Letta on the attempt to restart peace talks:
"The differences between the sides are small, especially in comparison with the dangers of not making peace"
President Peres on the situation in Egypt:
"There is no telling what will happen in Egypt but I pray that they will find a solution"
Prime Minister Letta to President Peres:
"These very days something important is happening…we want to see hope become reality"
The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, conducted a diplomatic work meeting this afternoon with the Prime Minister of Italy, Mr. Enrico Letta. At the beginning of the meeting President Peres addressed Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to restart the peace talks and said, "Secretary Kerry is working on restarting the negotiations between us and the Palestinians. There are already some openings and I believe the efforts on both sides should continue. The differences between the sides are small, especially in comparison with the dangers of not making peace."
President Peres also addressed the ongoing situation in Egypt and the wider Middle East and said, "We are very worried about the situation in the Middle East. There is no telling what will happen in Egypt but I pray that they will find a solution. What we are seeing in the Middle East is not a clash between civilizations but a clash within civilizations as people rise up against great existential problems like poverty, health and employment."
Prime Minister Letta thanked President Peres and said that he is visiting Israel as he promised the president he would do when the two last met on the Prime Minister's first day in office. He added that this was his first visit outside of the European Union as Prime Minister and that it confirmed the special relations between the two countries and between President Peres and Prime Minister Letta. The Prime Minister also addressed the attempts to restart the peace talks and said, "These very days something important is happening…we want to see hope become reality." He added that Italy would be happy to provide any assistance that it could to help move forward with the peace process.
Prime Minister Letta also addressed the next Government to Government (G2G) meeting between the Israeli and Italian governments which will take place in December in Turin and said that it was an important meeting and that Italy was interested in strengthening the economic relations between the countries particularly with regards to the energy sector following the discovery of natural gas and as Italy requires cheap energy
Photo Credit – Mark Neiman (GPO)