President Peres called upon European leaders to continue to apply pressure against Iran's nuclear program



President Shimon Peres, today (Tuesday, 1 October 2013), began the third day of his visit to the Netherlands with a visit to the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague where he was received by King Willem-Alexander. The two inspected an honor guard, saluted the national anthems and then held a private meeting. At the start of the meeting, King Willem-Alexander welcomed President Peres to the Netherlands and said that it was a great honor to host the President of the State of Israel as his first official guest at the Palace and added that he had visited Israel on a number of occasions and was always impressed by the country and its people and that he looked forward to strengthening the relations between the two countries.



President Peres also held a diplomatic working meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, during which the two discussed the Iranian nuclear threat, the situation in Syria and bilateral relations between the two countries in light of recent steps taken by the Dutch government to isolate products from settlements from Israel's trade agreement with the European Union. At the end of the meeting the two leaders held a joint press conference which Prime Minister Rutte opened by welcoming President Peres to the Netherlands and thanking him for his efforts to bring peace to the Middle East. Prime Minister Rutte detailed the close and historic relationship between Israel and the Netherlands and said he welcomed the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. He added that the Netherlands hoped to continue to play a positive and central role in the process to bring peace to Israel and the Palestinians.



Prime Minister Rutte addressed the issue of boycotting goods from settlements and stressed that the Netherlands is opposed to boycotting goods from Israel and that the issue had not even been considered within in the country. With respect to the recent decision by the European Union the Prime Minister said that the Netherlands was working within the European Union, as an inseparable part of it, to reach a consensus and find a solution which does not harm the peace process.



President Peres thanked the Prime Minister and said, "Europe, like Israel, understands that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be solved through negotiations and dialogue, not through sanctions. A day after the European announcement, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the resumption of talks for nine months – if a deal is reached between the sides there will be no need for the European sanctions, they will be irrelevant. I am sure Europe did not plan to make the negotiations more difficult but if the sanctions are implemented that will be the effect."



President Peres continued and called upon the Netherlands, as a central member of the European Union, and to other European countries to oppose the Iranian nuclear threat and not to allow Iran to complete its race to [achieve] long range missiles with nuclear warheads, "Europe's support is important to preventing the Iranian threat. I hope that the new voices will bring a new reality in Iran – but nuclear weapons for mass destruction are a threat to the entire world and we must work to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons."



President Peres is scheduled to deliver a speech before the Dutch parliament later this afternoon (18:00 Jerusalem time); an embargoed copy will be made available before the speech. The speech will be shown live on the website of the Dutch parliament. At 21:00 President Peres will be the guest of honor at a state dinner hosted by King Willem-Alexander.

 

 

 

President Peres:

"Anne Frank's message should especially resonate today. It serves as a warning to us all against a tyrant who uses chemical weapons to murder children and against attempts to develop nuclear weapons for mass destruction"

 

"I doubt whether Assad read Anne Frank's diary"

 

Especially for the visit a previously unseen letter written by the sole survivor of the Frank family immediately upon his liberation from Auschwitz was shown to President Peres and made available to the public

 

The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, began his visit in the Netherlands with an historic visit to Anne Frank's house, a symbol of Holocaust remembrance in the Netherlands and across the world. During the visit President Peres examined unique original pages from Anne Frank's diary and was presented with an original photo album Anne Frank compiled during her time hiding in the annex.

In a rare moment President Peres was shown original pages from Anne Frank's diary, the photo album and the first letter written by her father upon his release from Auschwitz – items usually kept under strict control in the archives. President Peres, who wore special protective gloves, held the photo album in his hands, looked through the photographs and said, "Anne Frank's message should especially resonate today. Her legacy is not just remembrance of the Holocaust but a living testimony that no-one in the world can ignore  - a ray of light and an honest voice in a darkened world."

President Peres continued and said, "As I begin my visit to the Netherlands today I cannot ignore what is happening around us and say in a clear voice that Anne Frank's warning stands before us today. I doubt whether Assad read Anne Frank's diary, when he didn't hesitate to use chemical weapons to murder innocent women and children. It serves as a warning to us all against a tyrant who uses chemical weapons to murder children and against attempts to develop nuclear weapons for mass destruction." President Peres concluded and said, "Anne, your voice which rings in our ears today, will forever remind the Jewish people and the world of the victory of light over darkness."

During the visit by President Peres, Anne Frank's house unveiled, for the first time to the public, original copies of two letters in German sent by the sole survivor of the Frank family, Otto Frank, who was rescued from Auschwitz. The letters, written in February 1945, are to his mother and were sent only a month after his liberation from the death camp by the Russians. The letter shows that even in the final days of the war Mr. Frank continued to do everything he could to protect his family and to believe that they will survive despite the tragic situation. The letters are part of a collection given to Anne Frank's house by the American actor, Joseph Schildkraut.

 

 

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