FM Livni presented Israel’s position regarding current Middle Eastern issues to her Slovenian counterparts, and called on the international community to consolidate its efforts to stop the Iranian uranium enrichment program.
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau )
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni met this evening (Wednesday, 5 December 2007) with Slovenian president-elect, Dr. Danilo Turk, and presented Israel’s position regarding current Middle Eastern issues to him. Slovenia is to assume Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 January 2008.
FM Livni stressed that Iran is continuing its uranium enrichment program in violation of UN Security Council decisions and is en-route to acquiring technology that will enable it to secretly promote its nuclear program without any international supervision. "As we speak, Iran is continuing its uranium enrichment policy which will enable it to acquire the knowledge required to produce nuclear weapons. It is clear to all that the world cannot afford this situation to come about. Therefore, we must not hesitate and must continue to increase sanctions until the enrichment program is completely stopped. The critical point is the crossing of the technological threshold, and there is no change in the assessment of this. Iran is constantly evaluating the reaction of the international community. The world must not loosen its grip." FM Livni stated that the response yesterday by the United States and the European Union show that they both share the same opinion.
Regarding negotiations with the Palestinians, FM Livni clarified that "the negotiations are bilateral and will be held by the two sides alone. International involvement in the direct negotiations is not desirable. The international community, the European Union and the Arab world should support the negotiations and assist in building Palestinian Authority institutions and capabilities and support its war on terror to ensure that the two-state principle does not remain on paper."
During her brief visit to Slovenia, FM Livni also met with Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, the chairman of the Slovenian parliamentary foreign policy committee and representatives of the Slovenian media.
FM Livni discussed with her counterparts the issue of the return of Jewish property confiscated during the Holocaust which is being handled by the authorities, in an attempt to find a speedy solution. The Foreign Minister also called on Slovenia to join the international task force for Holocaust education.
FM Livni will return to Israel later today, and on Friday morning will leave again for another round of talks on these issues with the Foreign Ministers of members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – NATO, convening in Brussels. Representatives of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Egypt and Jordan will also be present at the conference.