The purpose of the visit is to discuss the recent developments in the Middle East with senior officials of the European Union.
(Communicated by the Deputy Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Deputy Foreign Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon will leave today (Sunday 27 February 2011) on an official visit to Brussels.
The purpose of the visit is to discuss the recent developments in the Middle East with senior European Union officials and to emphasize the necessity of preventing radical forces in the region from taking advantage of the changes that are currently taking place. In his meetings, DFM Ayalon intends to stress that despite the fervor of unfolding events, the real threat to the region remains the Iranian nuclearization program. The deputy foreign minister will also emphasize Israel’s desire to renew the negotiations with the Palestinians as soon as possible without prior conditions, and will ask his European counterparts to resist Palestinian efforts to avoid negotiations and to implement unilateral steps that further the possibilities of reconciliation and agreement.
DFM Ayalon is expected to address a closed session of the Political and Security Committee of the European Parliament and the forum of senior PSC ambassadors. The two bodies are central to the formulation of the European Union’s foreign and security policy. The PSC forum is formed by special ambassadors from 27 countries who are responsible for foreign policy and security issues.
During his visit, DFM Ayalon will meet with Pierre Vimont, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, with Claudio Bisogniero, NATO Deputy Secretary General, with Martin Schulz, President of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament, and with other parliamentarians who deal with Middle Eastern issues. The Deputy Foreign Minister will also brief the media and provide interviews, and will meet with leaders of the Jewish community who will inform him of their methods for coping with the threat of de-legitimization and rising anti-Semitism in Europe.
DFM Ayalon will lecture at the European Policy Centre, which is a leading public opinion shaper and considered one of the most influential research bodies in Europe.