Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, today (Thursday, 23 May 2013), made the following remarks at the start of their meeting:
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
"Secretary Hague, I am pleased to welcome you in Jerusalem.
First, I want to express my solidarity and the solidarity of the people of Israel with the government and people of Britain following this horrific terrorist attack against a British serviceman in London. We wish to send condolences to the family and to the people of Britain.
We’ve experienced such horrors here, and we sympathize deeply. We both are facing this battle against this savagery and this terrorism in our own countries and throughout the world.
President Peres conducted a diplomatic meeting this evening with the Secretary of State of the United States of America, John Kerry
"You have a mission of peace. If you will succeed it will be our success, if you miss out we shall miss out. We shall stand by your side, all the way."
Secretary of State Kerry:
"It really is a question of whether Israel and the Palestinians make the choices and the United States of America through President Barack Obama is completely at the disposal of both parties to try and help bridge the divide."
"This moment is a critical one for the region and particularly for Israel, for Palestine and for Jordan"
The two day trip underlines the UK’s commitment to the Middle East Peace Process and further developing the UK Israel bilateral relationship, which continues to go from strength to strength.
During the visit, the Foreign Secretary will be discussing a range of foreign policy challenges with his Israeli counterparts, including the Middle East Peace Process, Syria, and Iran. The Foreign Secretary will also be officially re-opening the newly refurbished British Embassy in Tel Aviv, and signing a Memorandum of Understanding about science cooperation between Israel and the UK.
The Foreign Minister of Lithuania told President Peres that:
Lithuania, as President of the European Union Council, will continue to stand by Israel and strengthen the existing relations between the two counties and that Lithuania shares the European Union position to support Secretary Kerry's peace initiatives.
President Peres to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister:
"I believe that Secretary of State Kerry's initiative to restart negotiations will lead to a breakthrough"The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, conducted a diplomatic work meeting with the Foreign Minister of Lithuania, Mr. Lianas Linkevicius this morning at his residence in Jerusalem. During the meeting the two discussed strengthening the relations between the two countries as well as Israel's relations with the European Union of which Lithuania will assume the council presidency in July. President Peres began by congratulating Lithuania on her upcoming role and said, "As President of the State of Israel I congratulate Lithuania on her upcoming role, it is a tremendous honor and I'm sure it is a source of pride for the Lithuanian people."
Minister of Strategic and Intelligence Affairs and International Relations Dr. Yuval Steinitz, today (Tuesday, 21 May 2013), in Zichron Yaakov, addressed the First International C5I Conference, and discussed the Iranian threat.
Minister Steinitz said (inter alia): "Events and the situation in Syria, Sinai and the Gaza Strip must not displace – even for a moment – the most critical issue, which is a nuclear Iran. The Iranian nuclear project changes the situation; it will change the situation for the State of Israel, the Middle East and even that of the entire world. The Iranians' ambition is to change the global balance of forces from end to end. Iran is not North Korea or Pakistan.
The Government Review Committee: "The France 2 report's central claims and accusations had no basis in the material which the station had in its possession at the time…There is no evidence that the IDF was in any way responsible for causing any of the alleged injuries to Jamal or the boy"
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received today the report of the Government Review Committee on "The France 2 Al-Durrah Report, its Consequences and Implications." The report was presented by the Minister of International Affairs, Strategy and Intelligence Yuval Steinitz, in the presence of Director General of the Ministry of International Affairs and Strategy, Yossi Kuperwasser.
The Cabinet, at its weekly meeting today (Sunday, 19 May 2013), approved the establishment of two committees the goal of which is to formulate an action plan for strengthening economic ties between Israel and China, as well as increase bilateral trade, mutual investments and research and development initiatives.
The committees were established in wake of the agreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, during the former's recent visit to China, on establishing bodies in both countries to strengthen bilateral economic ties.
The Cabinet, at its weekly meeting today (Sunday, 19 May 2013), approved the establishment of two committees the goal of which is to formulate an action plan for strengthening economic ties between Israel and China, as well as increase bilateral trade, mutual investments and research and development initiatives.
The committees were established in wake of the agreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, during the former's recent visit to China, on establishing bodies in both countries to strengthen bilateral economic ties.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Friday, 17 May 2013), in Jerusalem, met with German Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westrwelle.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting: "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. Today the Middle East is undergoing a period of tremendous and unprecedented instability. 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."
On May 20, 2013, between 12 p.m.- 5 p.m., The Romanian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv will participate with a desk at the Europe Day events organized in the campus of the Tel Aviv University.
At the desk, RCI in Tel Aviv will present for the students and guests present there, its programs and events for the current year and will accept registrations for the Romanian language courses. Also, informative materials edited by the Romanian Cultural Institute, such as brochures, cultural magazines, DVDs, CDs, will be distributed.
Organized by "The Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy" of the Tel Aviv University, in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union to Israel, the celebration will include an introductory lecture by Dr.Tal Sadeh, president of "The Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy" and an informal meeting of the ambassadors of the European Union member-states with the students of the Tel Aviv University.
"Nuclear arms in Iranian hands are not an option for us."
"Germany is 100% committed to supporting John Kerry's efforts to revitalize talks between Israel and the Palestinians"
President Peres to Foreign Minister Westerwelle:
"We have to bring the conflict between us and the Palestinians to an end."
The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, conducted a diplomatic work meeting with the Foreign Minister of Germany, Dr. Guido Westerwelle, this afternoon (Friday 17th May) at his residence in Jerusalem. During the meeting the two discussed the major issues of the day first and foremost the Iranian nuclear threat and efforts to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Friday, 14 May 2013), made the following remarks at his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin:
"I very much appreciate your contribution. At 05:00, we finished the budget and a few hours later I landed here in Sochi, which is very impressive and attests to Russia's development under your leadership.
Therefore, I suggested to you on the way here that the next meeting between us should be in Eilat. In both places there is tranquility and quiet and in both places we would like it to continue. This is in spite of the fact that in Eilat they have shot rockets at us recently from Sinai. This points to the fact that the region around us is very stormy, unstable and explosive. I am pleased to have this opportunity to try and consider together how to stabilize the region and look for ways to bring security and stability, which are certainly important for us but for you as well, for our common goals."
The National Information Directorate in the Prime Minister's Office, today (Monday, 13 May 2013), held the annual seminar for spokespersons from – inter alia – Government ministries and emergency agencies, which focused on "information and spokespersons' work in time of emergency." Today's seminar was in the framework of national emergency week, which will be held on 26-30 May 2013.
The seminar was held as part of ongoing preparations to improve preparedness in the Government information and spokespersons network for emergency events. Today's participants were briefed on operational concepts for information networks in time of emergency, with emphasis on strengthening liaison and coordination between government spokespersons, professional agencies and local authorities.
"Perhaps we would not be seeing the resurgence of neo-Nazi criminal activity today if a better job had been done convicting and punishing perpetrators for their crimes during the Holocaust," — Dr. Efraim Zuroff, SWC Chief Nazi Hunter
The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed the arrest in Germany of Auschwitz SS-Death's Head guard Hans (Antanas) Lipschis, number four on the Center's "2013 Most Wanted Nazi War Criminals" list.
The Center noted that Lipschis served from October 1941 until January 1945 in the most notorious of Nazi death camps, where approximately 1,300,000 inmates were murdered, among them approximately 1,100,000 Jews.
"Lipschis' arrest is a welcome first step in what we hope will be a large number of successful legal measures taken by the German judicial authorities against death camp personnel and those who served in the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units), which together murdered more than three million Jews during the Holocaust," said Dr. Zuroff.
His arrest was made possible by the 2011 conviction in Munich of Sobibor death camp guard Ivan Demjanjuk, who was the first Nazi war criminal convicted in Germany after many decades, without evidence being presented to the court of a specific crime with a specific victim. The importance of that verdict is that it provides a legal basis for the prosecution of many Holocaust peretrators, who spent lengthy periods in carrying out mass murder, but would otherwise have escaped prosecution.
"There is no small irony in the fact that on the day of the opening of the most important trial of a neo-Nazi in recent years in Germany, the German authorities arrested a guard of the notorious Auschwitz death camp," continued Dr. Zuroff.
"Despite the passage of decades since the latter committed his crimes, the prosecution of Holocaust perpetrators remains extremely significant. The passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the killers and old age should not afford protection to those who committed such terrible atrocities," Dr. Zuroff concluded.
As you know, world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking joined the academic boycott of Israel and pulled out of the Israeli Presidential Conference: Facing Tomorrow 2013, under the auspices of Israeli President Shimon Peres, “in protest of Israel's treatment of Palestinians.” The event – the fifth annual conference - isscheduled for June 18-20, 2013 in Jerusalem.
Israeli Presidential Conference Chairman Israel Maimon responded to Hawking’s announcement saying that his decision was unjustifiable and wrong:
"Peace with Jordan is dear to us – we will respect all the agreements between us and protect the holy sites of all religions!"
In light of the recent events on the Temple Mount and the meeting of the Jordanian parliament which voted to expel the Israeli ambassador from Jordan and return the Jordanian ambassador from Israel, President Peres sent a message to the leadership of Jordan. At a speech at the state ceremony to mark the unification of Jerusalem and in memory of the soldiers who fell in the battle for the city President Peres stressed Israel's commitment to the agreements between the two countries, "Jerusalem is dear to us. Peace with Jordan is dear to us. I want to say loudly and clearly that we respect all the holy sites of all religions and will do everything necessary to protect them as agreed between us. The peace agreement between us was the aspiration of the soldiers who fought here. The peace that was agreed between us is the dream of all Jews, Muslims and Christians as one. The whole world knows that when we heard voices of peace from Jordan and Egypt we did not delay, we did not hesitate and we stretched out our hand in peace."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Wednesday, 8 May 2013), in Beijing, attended a ceremony marking the signing of various cooperation agreements between Israeli and Chinese companies. He said, "This is an expression of thanks to all of you, Israeli and Chinese business people. There is a perfect marriage between our mutual capabilities. The Israeli government stands firmly behind cooperation between Israeli and Chinese companies, [and] between Israeli research institutes and Chinese research institutes."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Tuesday, 7 May 2013), met with Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong. In order to further cooperation, it was agreed to establish joint research and development teams for Israeli and Chinese research agencies, and that the two governments would encourage cooperation between private companies, including in investments,
National Economic Council Director Prof. Eugene Kandel will head the Israeli team which will focus on providing Israeli water technology to China. The Israeli technologies specialize in – inter alia – desalination, recycling, preventing water loss and treating wastes. An additional field is renewable energy, especially alternatives to oil for transportation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this afternoon (Tuesday, 7 May 2013), visited Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co., Ltd He met with Chairman of the Board and Executive Director Zhou Jie and toured the medicines production line.
Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out to the company directors Israeli companies' technological leadership in the medical field and proposed that the Chinese concern increase its investments in the Israeli economy.
139 attacks as opposed to 125 in March. The main increase is noted in the number of attacks originating in the Gaza Strip: 12 attacks in April as opposed to three in March. Two rockets were launched from Sinai toward Eilat, while in March no attacks were executed from Sinai.
President Shimon Peres, today (Tuesday, 7 May 2013), met with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, who is visiting Israel along with a senior government delegation. The two held a short meeting before taking part in a working lunch during which they discussed strengthening the strategic and economic cooperation between the two countries.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 6 May 2013), landed in Shanghai. He traveled from the airport to an exhibition at a high-tech industrial park, where he viewed a series of innovative technological developments – inter alia, in the fields of alternative energy, urban development, the environment, aviation and space, computer networks, medicine and entertainment technology – by leading companies active in China.
Next to a wall on which were the logos of the companies operating in the high-tech park, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "We see here the logos of many of the world's leading companies. I hope that we will soon see on this wall the logos of many Israeli companies; this is the goal – to expand bilateral economic cooperation and significantly increase Israeli exports to China."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this afternoon (Monday, 6 May 2013), in Shanghai, met with a group of Israeli businesspeople who are active in China in order to hear from them about the assistance they need from the Government of Israel in order to advance their businesses.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "I represent you before the Chinese government. I want to hear from you what I need to tell them in order to help you. I know that the Chinese ascribe great importance to government backing for business and I intend to give you this backing. We must make the national effort to enter Chinese markets and to create partnerships. In addition to your private initiatives, we need to create a government track with the Chinese."
Prime Minister Netanyahu, today (Sunday, 5 May 2013), will leave for a working visit to China.
The Chinese leadership was recently replaced and it is expected to rule there for the coming decade. Issues of strategic importance in a variety of fields are expected to be raised in Prime Minister Netanyahu's meetings with senior leaders of the new administration; new bilateral agreements will also be signed.
While China and Israel mutually recognized each other in the early 1950's, full diplomatic relations were only established in 1992
Foreign Minister Burkhalter to President Peres: Switzerland is not neutral when it comes to terrorism
President Shimon Peres conducted a diplomatic work meeting with the Foreign Minister of Switzerland Mr. Didier Burkhalter this morning at his residence in Jerusalem. During the meeting the two discussed the changes in the Middle East, ways to renew the peace process and the strengthening of relations between the two countries particularly in the fields of science and security.
HAIFA, Israel, 4 May 2013 (BWNS) — More than 1,000 representatives of the Baha'i world community gathered here, 29 April-2 May, for a unique global event that was infused with joy, reverence and purpose.
The eleventh International Baha'i Convention marked the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Convention in 1963 at which the Universal House of Justice – the international governing council of the Baha'i Faith – was first elected.
Declaration by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the European Union on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, 3 May 2013
On the 20th anniversary of World Press Freedom day, the EU pays tribute to journalists worldwide who dedicate their lives - sometimes at great personal cost - to reporting events or expressing views that many might prefer to silence.
On April 22, World Earth Day, The President of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, planted a white chestnut tree of hope in memory of Anne Frank. The memory of Anne Frank is in itself a permanent reminder to new generations of the evils which carry with them the intolerance, hatred, violence and war. In his address, the President emphasized that the memory of Anne Frank also serves as an incentive for human faith, the awareness of the uniqueness and indispensability of human life, faith in others, the importance of the quality of coexistence, respect for nature, and also confirmed the necessity to fight for the values of justice, fairness and solidarity The President of the Republic was pleased that the planting of trees, dedicated to Anne Frank, at the Slovenian Memorial Park will invite its visitors and inspire not only the beauty of nature, but also with the memory of the giants of humanity, and their appeal for peace.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Thursday, 2 May 2013), met with Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter. At the start of the meeting, the Prime Minister said, "We have a saying in Israel: Israel isn’t Switzerland. And what they mean by that is that your neighborhood is more tranquil and less challenging. That is true. Still, I don’t know of any Israeli that would like to exchange our country for somewhere else, but there are a few things that I think we can learn from you and one of them is the referendum. Not for every issue; not on every point of debate; but on one thing: that is, if we get to a peace agreement with the Palestinians, I’d like to bring it to a referendum. And I’d like to talk to you about your experiences with that, and many other things."
President Peres: "We have to pray together for the end of the terrible bloodshed in our region, and make the region a place where people walk together hand in hand."
"On September 8th, 1943 the Germans occupied Assisi. Assisi, headed by its local Bishop and his friars, used their monastery as a shelter to save Jewish refugees. Thank you from the depth of our hearts."
The mayor of Assisi: "The city of Assisi sees in you, Shimon Peres, as a promoter of the values of peace and dialogue"The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, received the "Honorary Citizenship of Peace" of the city of Assisi, the symbol of peace in Italy, at a ceremony which was attended by the Mayor of Assisi, dignitaries and hundreds Franciscan friars. During the ceremony President Peres received the unique award and the key to the city of Assisi for the first time in history. Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, was filled with thousands of tourists, Franciscan choirs, dancing troupes and more.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today , made the following remarks at the start of his meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic:
"Today we struck at one of those involved in the criminal firing of rockets at Eilat. I said that we would not ignore this; our action is in continuation of our policy. We will not accept the sporadic firing of rockets from either the Gaza Strip or Sinai. We will act, and are acting, in order to defend Israeli citizens. I would also like to express my condolences and those of the entire country to the family of Evyatar Borovsky. The terrorist who perpetrated the murder has been captured and we will continue to act on this front as well in order to defend our citizens."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, today (Tuesday, 30 April 2013), at the start of their meeting, inscribed two verses from the Bible in the framework of the "World Inscribes the Bible" project.
Prime Minister Netanyahu inscribed Isaiah 2:4 – "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Serbian President Nikolic chose Psalm 85:11-12 – "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs out of the earth; and righteousness has looked down from heaven."
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Serbian President received certificates attesting to their participation in the project. The latter is the first Balkan head of state to participate in the project. The Prime Minister of Canada, the Pope and the President of Panama are among the world leaders who have participated in the project.
Italy under my leadership will continue to strengthen the relations with Israel. In the second half of 2013 we will invite Israel's government ministers to a joint meeting in Italy
The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, held a diplomatic work meeting today during his visit to Italy with the Prime Minister of Italy, Mr. Enrico Letta, who took up office two days ago. The two discussed the economic solution in Italy and ways out of the current crisis, the Iranian nuclear threat, the ongoing crisis in Syria and the situation in Lebanon, ways to progress the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and strengthening the cooperation between Israel and Italy.
Prime Minister Letta began by thanking President Peres for his visit and saying he was happy to host him in a first diplomatic meeting between the two and expressed his hope that he would be able to visit Israel soon. Prime Minister Letta told President Peres that he planned to lead a pro-European government and that he would meet with the leaders of Europe and enter into dialogue with them with the aim of strengthening the cooperation between Italy and the European Union. Prime Minister Letta added that he was facing difficult economic circumstances and low public approval of the political system in Italy. The Prime Minister concluded by saying that he attached great importance to the good relations between Israel and Italy and that in the second half of 2013 he will invite Israel's government ministers to a joint meeting in Rome.
President Peres congratulated Mr. Letta on becoming Prime Minister and said, "Don't be overly concerned with the economic crisis, I am sure that under your leadership, with your experience and wisdom, you will succeed in navigating Italy out of the current crisis and that economic growth and prosperity will return. Italy is blessed with good people, quality industry and creativity – all this will help Italy out of the current crisis." President Peres discussed with Prime Minister Letta the steps his government took when Israel was faced with an economic crisis during the 1980s which included inflation of over 400% and stressed the importance of investment in science, advanced technology and joint research projects between countries. President Peres added that Israel sees great importance in the relations with Italy and that trade between the countries this year had reached $4.2 billion.
President Peres also discussed the Iranian attempts to develop nuclear weapons, the fact that Iran is an obstacle to peace and stability in the Middle East. President Peres told Prime Minister Letta that nuclear weapons in Iranian hands would be a clear danger not only to the Middle East but to the entire world including the capitals of Europe. The two also discussed the danger of the transfer of Syrian weapons and President Peres stressed his belief that President Assad is no longer an alternative since he had become a murdered of his own people.
The two leaders also discussed the peace process and President Peres said that the visit of the Foreign Ministers of the Arab League to Washington is positive and provides fresh impetus to progressing the peace process towards the agreed upon solution of two states for two peoples, "The differences between us and the Palestinians are not great, Abu Mazen is a genuine and serious partner for peace and Israel is ready to return to the negotiating table without preconditions so that all the issues which remain open between our two nations can be discussed."
At the end of the meeting the two leaders delivered joint statements to the press (video footage available via the GPO ftp server) which focused on the importance of the continuing and strengthening the excellent relations between Italy and Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 29 April 2013), welcomed the launch of the State of Israel's fifth submarine. "The submarines are a strong, strategic tool for the IDF. The State of Israel is ready to act anytime, anywhere – on land, sea and air – in order to ensure the security of Israel's citizens," the Prime Minister said.
Defense Ministry Receives IDF's Fifth Dolphin Class Submarine from Germany
At an official ceremony today (Monday, 29 April 2013), at the Kiel shipyard in Hamburg, the Defense Ministry received a fifth Dolphin class submarine – the "INS Rahav".
Defense Ministry Director-General, Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Udi Shani, GOC Navy, Rear Admiral Ram Rothberg, other senior Israeli officials and their German counterparts inaugurated the submarine. This ceremony signaled the end of a lengthy process led by the Defense Ministry Procurement Administration and the Israeli Navy.
The highpoint of the event in the Kiel shipyard was the ceremonial breaking of the champagne bottle on the submarine by both Israeli and German officials. "INS Rahav" will arrive in Israel during the course of 2013, upon the completion and installation of its relevant systems. It is considered one of the most advanced and sophisticated submarines in the world, and will be among Israel's most expensive pieces of military equipment.
The Rahav submarine is extremely versatile with a range of capabilities enabling it to adapt to a multitude of missions. The submarines are the multiplier force of the Israeli Navy, the IDF, and the State of Israel.
President Peres departed this afternoon for Italy where he will meet with Pope Francis, Prime Minister Letta and President Napolitano Upon boarding the plane President Peres shook hands with the staff and said:
"I am departing for a special visit in Rome and the Vatican today. During my visit I will meet the Pope and the senior leadership of the new Italian government, first and foremost the President and Prime Minister. I intend to personally invite Pope Francis for an official state visit in Israel and to strengthen the good relations that already exist between Israel and the Vatican. The Vatican has an important role to play in the stability of the Middle East and I am sure that this visit will contribute both to the State of Israel and to the cause of peace."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today visited the Druze community, on the occasion of the Nabi Shueib holiday, at the home of Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Muafak Tareef in Julis and at the Yad LeBanim building in Daliyat al-Karmel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "There is a natural bond between the Jewish People and the Druze People. The Jewish People are spread throughout the world and the Druze are spread through several countries. Today you are rightly concerned over the fate of your brothers in Syria and Lebanon. We view what is happening in Syria and Lebanon with concern. Syria is splitting apart and Lebanon is unstable. From both places emanate not inconsiderable threats to the State of Israel. In Syria, there are two direct threats – the flow of advanced weapons to terrorist organizations and the attempted infiltration of terrorists across our borders against our communities in the State of Israel. We are prepared to deal with, and are dealing with, both of these issues. The State of Israel is ready to deal with any threat from Syria and Lebanon."
Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor's 24 April 2013 Remarks to the UN Security Council
Open Debate on the Middle East April 2013
Statement by Ambassador Ron Prosor
Before I begin, I want to extend condolences to the people of France following yesterday’s bombing of their Embassy in Libya. We also extend our condolences to the American people following the attack in Boston last week. Our prayers are with the victims, families and citizens of both countries.
I want to congratulate His Excellency, Ambassador Eugène Gasana, and the delegation of Rwanda for their leadership of the Security Council this month.
Last Tuesday, the State of Israel marked 65 years as a free and independent homeland for the Jewish people. On that historic day six and half decades ago, the leaders of the new Jewish State issued a Declaration of Independence. It affirmed (and I quote), “We offer peace and unity to all the neighboring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all.”
President Peres to Foreign Minister Mammadyarov:"Azerbaijan's unique geographic location makes it a key country in the region"
Foreign Minister Mammadyarov to President Peres:"Our country is not in an easy neighborhood."
The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, conducted a diplomatic work meeting this morning with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov at his residence in Jerusalem this morning. The meeting took place at the beginning of a historic visit by the Foreign Minister which was the first visit by a Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan in Israel since diplomatic relations between the two countries began. During the meeting the two agreed on strengthening and deepening the strategic relations between the two countries and President Peres extended an official invitation to the President of Azerbaijan to visit Israel.
Joint Press Conference with Secretary Hagel and Israeli Defense Minister Ya'alon in Tel Aviv, Israel
MODERATOR: We will start with a statement by the minister of defense, Mr. Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon, followed by a statement by the secretary of defense, Mr. Chuck Hagel. Please, questions will be afterwards.
ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER MOSHE YA'ALON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Shalom. I was delighted and honored to host my friend, secretary of defense of the United States, Chuck Hagel. I was very moved, Chuck, that after visiting your troops in Afghanistan, you made Israel the first destination of your term as the secretary of defense.
President Peres to the Director General of the WHO, Margaret Chan
"Israel will be glad to share our advanced technology and to work together for the sake of the world's health"
The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, met this morning with the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Margaret Chan who came to Israel on a historic first visit of the WHO Director General to Israel.
The Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, will lead a delegation to visit Israel on 21-23 April.
During the visit, Foreign Minister Mammadyarov will hold meetings with several personalities: the President of Israel, Shimon Peres, the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Benjamin Netanyahu, The President of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, Chairman of the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, Avigdor Liberman, the Head of the National Security Council Yaakov Amidror, and other senior officials.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will travel to Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates April 20-27.
Hagel will first travel to Israel where he will meet with Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres to further the close military to military relationship between the United States and Israel. Hagel’s trip follows on President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel where he announced that the United States and Israel will negotiate a new 10-year agreement to provide Israel with foreign military financing. The secretary will also discuss regional challenges including those presented by Iran and Syria.
Copy of the condolence letter sent by the President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, to the President of the United States of America, President Barack Obama, following the tragic events at the Boston Marathon.
This morning the President, joined by Vice President Biden, convened a briefing in the Oval Office with his national security team on the ongoing investigation into the explosions in Boston. Participating in the briefing was Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken, White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy National Security Advisor For Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes, and National Security Advisor to the Vice President Jake Sullivan.
On the 65th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, I join my fellow Americans in wishing the Israeli people a joyous Independence Day. On this date 65 years ago, the Jewish people realized their dream of the ages—to be masters of their fate in their own sovereign state. From that moment on, a free and independent Israel has had no greater friend and ally than the United States. As I said during my visit to Israel last month, our two nations stand together because it makes our countries safer, stronger and more prosperous and it makes the world a better place.
The President of Georgia-Israeli business chamber Itsik Moshe addresses the Culture Ministries of Georgia and Israel. As InterPressNews has been informed by the Georgia-Israeli business chamber , Itsik Moshe introduced his initiative to give An Honorary Place in the Holocoust museum in Jerusalem for Georgians who saved the lives of Jewish people and set up “Khaside Umot Aolam” corner in the Georgian national museum, which will present the unique relations between Georgia and Israel.
Sec. Kerry: I want to thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for, first of all, his extraordinary hospitality yet again. We had an extremely friendly, very productive, long discussion last night. I think it's fair to say that we made progress, that we were pleased with the substance of the discussion and agreed, each of us, to do some homework. And we're going to do our homework over the course of the next weeks, and today we're going to continue some of that discussion with a view to seeing how we can really pull all of the pieces together and make some progress here.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks today (Monday, 8 April 2013), on the occasion of Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day at the Knesset, during the "Unto Every Person There is a Name ceremony:
"In memory who were murdered with 2060 members of their community in Vishneva in August 1942 by the Nazis and their local accomplices who rounded up the residents of the town in the synagogue which was made of wood and murdered them by shooting them and setting fire to the synagogue:
My grandfather – Who walked at the head of the community, wrapped in a prayer shawl, into the synagogue which was burnt down by the Nazis.
My grandmother – Rivka Meltzer
My grandfather - Zvi Meltzer – my teacher and rabbi, who when we said goodbye at the train station as I left for Israel said to me only: "Be a Jew"
"I have no doubt that when President Obama and you say that all options are on the table, you mean it."
"The two state solution is the best solution and the parameters for that agreement already exist"
Secretary of State Kerry:
"We understand the threat of Iran and as the president has said many times, he doesn't bluff."
"It’s a great privilege for me to be representing President Obama and the American people in this effort to try and get us over the line. We all know it's not easy but as you said yourself it can be done."
The Cabinet, today (Sunday, 7 April 2013), unanimously approved its work guidelines as well as the establishment of the following ministerial committees:
* The Ministerial Committee on Socio-Economic Affairs (the Socio-Economic Cabinet): Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Chairman); Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Vice Chairman); Water and Energy Minister Silvan Shalom; Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel; Education Minister Shai Piron; Interior Minister Gideon Saar; Social Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen; Transportation, National Infrastructures and Road Safety Minister Yisrael Katz; Tourism Minister Uzi Landau; Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Naftali Bennett; Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz; Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz & Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 25 March 2013), has decided to allow the transfer of tax funds to the Palestinian Authority. The decision was made as per the opinion of the Security Cabinet. Accordingly, Finance Minister Yair Lapid will direct personnel of his ministry to resume the transfer of funds.
The reconciliation between Israel and Turkey is a very important development that will help advance the cause of peace and stability in the region. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Prime Minister Erdogan deserve great credit for showing the leadership necessary to make this possible.
As I discussed with Prime Minister Netanyahu this evening, this will help Israel meet the many challenges it faces in the region. We look forward to an expeditious implementation of the agreement and the full normalization of relations so Israel and Turkey can work together to advance their common interests
GENEVA, 22 March 2013, (BWNS) ― The United Nations Human Rights Council today voted by an overwhelming margin for a continuing investigation into human rights violations in Iran.
"For years, the Iranian government has made excuses or blamed others in the face of mounting documentation that it severely represses its citizens in gross violation of international law – but the wide margin of today's vote confirms that the world is not buying its justifications," said Diane Ala'i, the Baha'i International Community's representative to the United Nations in Geneva.
Israel is disappointed that, to date, no appropriate solution has been found to satisfy recognized and legitimate pension entitlement claims by former ghetto survivors, in accordance with German law (2002 legislation on pension payments for former ghetto workers).
While we have faith in Germany's good will to solve this painful problem, we must not forget that this issue relates to an aging population which expects legal and moral justice to be done before it is too late.
Israel will continue to work on mending the wrongs in this issue.
US President Barack Obama, President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Friday, 22 March 2013), visited Mt. Herzl . President Obama laid wreaths on the grave of Theodor (Binyamin Zeev) Herzl and on the grave of Yitzhak Rabin , accompanied by members of the Rabin family. On Rabin's grave, President Obama laid a stone that he brought with him from the grave of the Rev. Martin Luther King.
Prime Minister Netanyahu told President Obama that Herzl's grave is the site of the traditional annual ceremony marking the transition from Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars to Independence Day.
President Obama wrote in the Mt. Herzl guestbook: "It is humbling and inspiring to visit and remember the visionary who began the remarkable establishment of the State of Israel. May our two countries possess the same vision and will to secure peace and prosperity for future generations."
Jerusalem) US President Barack Obama visited Yad Vashem today, Friday, March 22, 2013. He visited the Hall of Names, the Museum of Holocaust Art, participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, and visited the Children’s Memorial, before signing the Yad Vashem Guest Book. President Obama was accompanied by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau. In the Yad Vashem Guest Book, President Obama wrote, “We are ever mindful of the incredible human cost of the Holocaust- an evil unprecedented in the annals of history. And yet we recognize, through this place, the triumph of the Jewish people and the human spirit, and vow to be ever vigilant in preventing such horror from ever happening again.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke today (Friday, 22 March 2013), with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. PM Netanyahu told him he had just had good conversations with President Obama about regional cooperation and the importance of Israel-Turkey relations. He regretted the recent deterioration of relations between Israel and Turkey and expressed his commitment to overcoming their differences in order to advance peace and stability in the region.
The press conference will be held on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day
7 April, 2013, at 10:00 am in the Administration Building Room 308
Tel Aviv University Campus.
The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and the Moshe Kantor database for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University, in cooperation with the European Jewish Congress will hold their annual meeting with the press highlighting the findings regarding the situation of anti-Semitism worldwide in 2012.
Two Kassam rockets exploded in the city of Sderot this morning (Thursday, 21 March 2013), after sirens went off. One rocket landed next to a house (see attached photo) causing damage, but no injuries. A second rocket landed in an open area; it was located by police sappers.
The project was founded by President Peres with John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems worldwide. In only two years around 600 Arab engineers were placed in leading High-Tech companies
President Obama told President Peres that Maan-Tech was an inspiring initiative and could be exported as a model to other countries
The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, presented to President Barack Obama, during his visit to the Israel Museum Technology Exhibition, the Ma'an-Tech initiative, which incorporates outstanding Arab engineers into key roles in leading high-tech companies in Israel.
You have chosen to come to Israel as the first foreign visit of your second term. You, the leader of the United States, the world's greatest democracy, have chosen to come to our somewhat smaller but no less vibrant democracy in the heart of the Middle East, the one and only Jewish state of Israel.
On behalf of the government and the people of Israel, I come here today with a simple message for you and the American people: Thank you. Thank you for standing by Israel at this time of historic change in the Middle East.
President Barack Obama, Dear Friend, Welcome to Israel.
We welcome you as a great President of the United States of America. As a remarkable world leader. As a historic friend of Israel. Of the Jewish People. Your visit here is a crown demonstration of the profound relationship between our two nations.
The people of Israel welcome you with open hearts. From the depth of our hearts, From the depths of our history,
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, America. Thank you for what you are. Thank you for what you do.
The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, and the President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, conducted a diplomatic work meeting today at the president's residence in Jerusalem following the welcome reception organized for President Peres. The majority of the bilateral meeting was held with only President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, National Security Adviser Thomas E. Donilon, President Peres, his foreign policy adviser Nadav Tamir and his special adviser Avi Gill.
Following are the felicitations that US President Barack Obama wrote earlier today (Wednesday, 20 March 2013) in the guestbook at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official residence:
"It is a great honor to reaffirm the extraordinary bonds between our two countries. By every measure, from security to our economy, our cooperation has never been greater and this in part is because of the strong commitment of Prime Minister Netanyahu. May our bonds continue to grow. On behalf of our people and prosperity for all people."
Press Conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United States President Barack Obama at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem
Prime Minister Netanyahu: Mr. President, Barack, it's a great pleasure to host you here in Jerusalem. You've graciously hosted me many times in Washington, so I'm very pleased to have this opportunity to reciprocate. I hope that the good will and warmth of the people of Israel has already made you feel at home.
President Obama: Very much so.
PM: We had an opportunity today to begin discussing the wide range of issues that are critical to both our countries, and foremost among these is Iran's relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons.
President Obama: Well, thank you Prime Minister Netanyahu for your kind words and for your wonderful welcome today. And I want to express a special thanks to Sara, as well as your two sons, for their warmth and hospitality. It was wonderful to see them. I did inform the Prime Minister that they are very good looking young men who clearly got their looks from their mother.
Prime Minister Netanyahu: Well, I could say the same of your daughters.
President Obama: This is true. Our goal is to improve our gene pool by marrying women who are better than we are.
Mr. Prime Minister, I want to begin by congratulating you on the formation of your new government. In the United States, we work hard to find agreement between our two major parties. Here in Israel you have to find consensus among many more. And few legislatures can compete with the intensity of the Knesset. But all of this reflects the thriving nature of Israel’s democracy.
Mark Regev: First question, Israel Channel Two, Udi Segal.
Udi Segal: Mr. President, may I ask you about Syria a practical question and a moral one? Morally, how is it possible that for the last two years, tens of thousands of innocent civilians are being massacred, and no one in the world, the United States and you, are doing anything to stop it immediately. On a practical level, you have said today and also in the past that the use of chemical weapons would be crossing of a red line. It seems that this red line was crossed yesterday. What specifically do you intend to do about it?
Pres.: I'll answer the question in reverse order, if you don’t mind. I'll talk about the chemical weapons first and then the larger question. With respect to chemical weapons, we intend to investigate thoroughly exactly what happened. Obviously in Syria right now you've got a war zone, you have information that's filtered out, but we have to make sure that we know exactly what happened, what was the nature of the incident, what can we documented, what can be proved. So I've instructed my teams to work closely with all other countries in the region and international organizations and institutions to find out precisely whether or not this red line was crossed.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Monday, 18 March 2013), made the following remarks at the first meeting of Israel's 33rd Government
"This is the third time that I have had the honor of opening a meeting of a new government. I must tell you that I am moved. This is not self-evident. Nothing here is self-evident and we all bear the great responsibility, the responsibility and the privilege.
Of all the three times that I have had this privilege of leading the State of Israel, I cannot remember a more challenging period vis-à-vis the accumulated risks on one hand and the opportunities on the other, and of course, the expectations of Israel's citizens. I think that it is within our power to meet all of these challenges, without exception.
President Shimon Peres, this evening (Monday, 18 March 2013), at his Jerusalem residence, made the following remarks at the traditional photograph with the new government:
"I am pleased to host the 33rd Government of the State of Israel here at the President's Residence. It is a government that has both veteran members and new faces, a government that has those with experience in government work and abilities in other, varied fields. It is a government which will provide a fresh breeze.
Following the announcement of a new Israeli Government, the Foreign Secretary William Hague, said:
“I welcome the formation of the new Israeli Government. I warmly congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu on his second consecutive term in office at this important time in Israel’s history. We look forward to working with his new Government to further develop our strong bilateral relations and to advance our successful partnerships in areas such as trade, security, science, technology and higher education.
Today (17 March 2013) Israel marks 21 years since the terrorist bombing of its embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina and remembers the 29 people killed and the hundreds who were wounded. The attack, carried out by Hizbullah under Iranian sponsorship, was one of the most horrific attacks on a diplomatic mission.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, met this evening at the President's Residence in Jerusalem with the President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, and announced to him that he has succeeded in building a government.The Prime Minister said to President Peres at the beginning of the meeting; "As you know I was tasked with forming a government. You bestowed that task upon me and I carried it out. We are standing before a decisive year in terms of security, economy and in efforts to progress peace. The citizens of Israel wanted change. This government shows cooperation, and I believe that we will be able to bring news in all these fields, to all the citizens of Israel. That is my mission and I know that it is your prayer."
"The newly elected Pope represents devotion, the love of God, the love of peace, a holy modesty and a new continent which is now awakening. May the Lord Bless the new Pope."
"I would like to invite the newly elected Pope to pay a visit to the Holy Land. He'll be a welcome guest."
The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, welcomed the new Pope during a meeting with the leaders of the Catholic Church in Poland. President Peres said, "The newly elected Pope represents devotion, the love of God, the love of peace, a holy modesty and a new continent which is now awakening. We need, more than ever, a spiritual leadership and not just a political one. Where political leaders may divide, spiritual leaders may unite. Unite around a vision, unite around values, unite around a faith that we can make the world a better place to live. May the Lord Bless the new Pope."
"Over the past twelve years there has been a rich and fruitful dialogue between the Holy See and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel on primary issues such as banning terrorism in God's Name, the sanctity of life, the sanctity of the family unit, etc.
This dialogue has led to significant achievements over the years, such as Holy See's decision to heed the Chief Rabbinate's request and suspend Holocaust-denier Bishop Richard Williamson, and the modification of sections of the Good Friday liturgy that were harsh and insulting towards the Jewish People.
Especially memorable are the statements of Pope Francis's two predecessors, Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict XVI , that the Almighty has never broken his covenant with the Jewish People. It has been stated by the Holy See that Jews are the elder brothers, and even the parents, of Christian believers. Statements by the two previous Pontiffs have played a significant role in the fight against anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.
The dialogue between the Holy See and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel was welcomed and nurtured with personal involvement by the two previous Pontiffs. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is confident that Pope Francis, whose good relations with the Jewish People are well known, will keep the same spirit, and strengthen and develop the Roman Catholic Church's connections with the State of Israel and the Jewish People."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulates Pope Francis I on his accession as leader of the Roman Catholic Church and expresses his confidence that the excellent relations between Jews and Christians, which have deepened, will continue, as will the excellent ties between the Holy See and Israel.
The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, congratulated the newly elected President of China, Mr Xi Jinping. An official greeting letter will be sent to the new Chinese President on Sunday.
President Peres said:
"I would like to extend my congratulations to President Xi Jinping on his election as President of The People's Republic of China. I have every confidence that under his leadership, China will continue to prosper and that the cooperation between Israel and China will grow stronger and deeper for the benefit of both our peoples. I believe he can help make the world a better place for future generations."
If the Jewish world was waiting for a sign from Pope Francis regarding his relations with its community, it didn't take long.
In his first day as Pope today, Francis I wrote to the Chief Rabbi of the Rome Jewish Community, Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, inviting him to his Inauguration on March 19 , and expressing his hope of a renewed collaboration with the Jewish Community.
photo Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Stephen Green and British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould
Lord Green accompanied by delegation of leading UK oil & gas companies to meet Israeli counterparts
Lord Green, the UK’s Minister for Trade and Investment, is in Israel this week leading a delegation of British oil and gas organisations to forge a new partnership with Israel in those sectors.
As part of his visit, the Minister travelled to the Leviathan 4 rig and saw firsthand Israel’s gas sector in operation. He met with industry leaders, discussing with them how the UK and Israel can work together. Lord Green also met with Israel’s Minister the Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour, Shalom Simchon to discuss ways both countries could further develop further cooperation.
I stand here before you, burning memories in my heart, great hopes in my soul.
I carry profound pain concerning the past. And look with confident eyes to the future.
I immigrated to Israel in 1934, at the age of 11. In 1942, most of the inhabitants of my town were burned alive. Had my family delayed their emigration by 8 years, we would have been exterminated.
A year before the creation of Israel, in 1947, I was recruited to the Haganah headquarters.
Since then, Israel has been attacked seven times in its 65 years of existence. We were outmanned and outgunned. The choice was to win or to die. I participated as well in confronting another enemy – the desert.
We won. We made it bloom. No other people experienced anything similar.
The head of the Conference of Imams in France to President Peres:
"We teach the believers that human life is holier than the holy sites! Holier than Mecca, the Vatican or Jerusalem"
President Peres to the delegation of Imams:
"Whoever was responsible for the murder of French citizens and Jewish children in Toulouse showed the ugly face of terror, and your words show the way of peace"
The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, conducted a special meeting this morning with the heads of the Jewish community of France and with a delegation of Imams, the heads of the Egyptian, African, Moroccan and Senegalese communities and heads of central Mosques. The meeting took place the day before memorial events in France to mark one year since the terror attacks in Toulouse.
President Shimon Peres and the Secretary-General of the OECD presented a plan to create an economic organization made up of global companies and world leaders for investment in the Middle East
The Secretary-General of the OECD to President Peres:
"Israel has become an important contributor to the OECD’s work. Its knowledge on key areas for the viability of our economies, like water management, “clean-techs” and entrepreneurship, is becoming a source of best practices."
President Peres to the Secretary-General of the OECD:
"Israel will continue to share the knowledge it has gained in the fields of technology, renewable energy and agriculture and continue to lead, within the OECD, new international initiatives which will provide solutions for the Middle East and developing countries."
"The Iranians are playing a dangerous game and they are liable to lose the last chance the international community is giving them"
President Hollande to President Peres:
"If Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons, the international community, not Israel, will bear the responsibility to stop it! Iran is not just a danger to Israel but a danger to the Gulf Region, to Europe and to the whole world."
The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, met this evening with the former Assistant Secretary of Defense of the United States Mr. Lawrence Korb, Esther Pollard, wife of Jonathan Pollard, and the heads of the Committee to Free Jonathan Pollard at his residence in Jerusalem. President Peres began the meeting by stressing the importance of the efforts and cooperation on behalf of all those working for the freedom of Jonathan Pollard and said, "We all want Jonathan to be freed, in all my previous meetings with President Obama I raised the issue and I sent a special letter requesting that Jonathan Pollard be released on humanitarian grounds. I intend to raise this important issue again in my meeting with President Obama during his visit here in Israel."
During the visit President Peres will deliver a historic speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, meet with Heads of State from European countries and senior leaders including the president of France, Prime Minister of Belgium, President of Bulgaria, the Secretary General of NATO, the Secretary General of the OECD, the President of the European Parliament, the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council.
Today, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon announced that Philip Gordon will be joining the National Security Staff as Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region. He will take up his duties beginning on March 11.
National Security Advisor Donilon said, “Phil has been a key member of President Obama’s foreign policy team for the past four years and his work with our European Allies and partners has been indispensable in helping us to formulate policy and address issues around the globe, including Libya, Syria and Iran. His work on international security, international economics and European and Middle Eastern Affairs make him the perfect person to coordinate our policy in this time of great challenge and opportunity in the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf. His appointment further strengthens a superb team that includes Puneet Talwar, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Gulf States, Iran and Iraq, and Prem Kumar, Acting Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa.”
"Israel needs a strong and stable government that can face the challenges before us and unite the entire nation."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to the President's Residence in Jerusalem this evening to request an extension for the formation of a government from President Shimon Peres. Before delivering statements to the press the two conducted a work meeting in President Peres' office during which Prime Minister Netanyahu updated the president about the coalition talks and laid out his reasons for requesting an extension.
The President of the State of Israel will deliver a historic speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg
The speech will be the first by an Israeli leader in the European parliament in its current format which includes 754 members from the 27 European Union countries During the visit President Peres will meet with Heads of State from European countries and the senior leadership from the European Union. President Peres will also deliver a speech before the general forum of the OECD and a special economic forum coming together for President Peres' visit and being coordinated by the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.