The Swiss Ambassador to Israel was summoned to the Foreign Ministry following Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey’s recent visit to Iran in order to sign a gas agreement.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Swiss Ambassador to Israel Walter Haffner, who presented his credentials to President Shimon Peres this morning (Wednesday, 19 March 2008), was summoned to a meeting with Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Western Europe Rafi Barak.  The summons follows Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey’s recent visit to Iran in order to sign a gas agreement.

Deputy Dir.-Gen. Barak told Ambassador Haffner that Israel regrets the Foreign Minister’s trip to Iran and views it as an unfriendly act.  He added that in the wake of UN Security Council Resolution #1803, and at a time when the international community is working for Iran to shelve its nuclear program, Israel believes that this is not the appropriate time to advance economic deals with Iran.

Iran is continuing with its nuclear program, aids extremist organizations, supports terrorism, tramples human rights and denies an independent UN member state’s right to exist, while displaying anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel.

Switzerland and the entire international community are aware of the danger posed by Iran. Israel expects Switzerland to join the international effort on this issue.