Europe must view recent events in the region realistically, not romantically, and formulate a plan to deal with them.
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman met yesterday (March 8) in Rome with Parliamentary Speaker Gianfranco Fini and with Interior Minister Roberto Maroni.
In Torino FM Liberman met with members of the Italy-Israel Friendship Association and with local Jewish community leaders.
Liberman said that, in order to influence Middle East states to get closer to democracy and the West, instead of going the way of the 1978 Iranian revolution that led to the rule of the ayatollahs, Europe must view recent events in the region realistically, not romantically, and deal with them in a practical way. A comprehensive plan must be formulated to strengthen the middle class in Arab states and reduce the rising unemployment and poverty. This is the only way to achieve stability and calm and to minimize the danger of these states turning into fundamentalist states ruled by the radical Islam.
FM Liberman also talked with his colleagues about the problem of illegal immigration and said that if the West fails in its approach to events in the Middle East, it will be flooded with refugees. Therefore, a comprehensive plan is needed that establishes norms and a unified approach that will help the West deal with the problem in the best way.
Liberman also addressed the demand that Israel return to the 1967 borders and said that Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, to the international border, did not bring peace and security, but rather the rule of Iranian proxies Hamas and Hizbullah on Israel’s southern and northern borders, and rockets raining on communities inside Israel.
Liberman said that a Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood would be a flagrant violation of the Oslo Accords and would be considered crossing a red line.
This morning FM Liberman, together with the Director General of the Export Institute, Avi Hefetz, the economic attaché in Rome and the commercial attaché in Milano visited the Fiat plant in Torino and spoke with company officials about research and development collaboration between Fiat and Israeli companies, based on the Agreement for the Israel-Italy Joint Program for Industrial Cooperation in R&D.
FM Liberman also visited today a training session of Juventus soccer team and said he would be happy to see them come to play in Israel.