Peres to Majority Whip McCarthy: "Israel thanks you for the security assistance, especially the development and production of Iron Dome which has achieved very impressive results."
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
President Shimon Peres hosted a Congressional delegation this morning of 29 Republican Members of Congress headed by Majority Whip, Rep. Kevin McCarthy. The delegation wanted to meet the President and hear his assessment of the recent regional developments, the progress in the peace talks, the Iranian nuclear issue, and the strategic cooperation between Israel and the United States.
At the start of the meeting Rep. McCarthy said: Mr. President it is very good to see you again. I have to thank you for your message when we met in Congress a few months ago. What you said about Israel-US relations, and the things that you said about how the United States is appreciated and respected in Israel for its willingness to sacrifice so others can enjoy freedom and democracy touched my heart, and I want to thank you for that.
President Peres thanked the delegation on behalf of the citizens of Israel for the United States’ firm stance by the side of Israel and said: "The citizens of Israel thank you for approving the security assistance especially the development and production of missiles in the Iron Dome project which has achieved very impressive results destroying incoming missiles. This development is an essential element in the fight against terror and the attempts to harm innocent civilians both in the Middle East and around the world." In response Rep. McCarthy said "Israel is a true friend and we will always stand by your side."
During the meeting the President emphasized the importance of both Israel and the Palestinians returning to the negotiating table and that both sides had no better alternative than peace and two states for two peoples. "We must initiate the changes of peace and generate creative possibilities to return to the discussions and prevent a September declaration by the Palestinians which would be a mistake and cause damage to both sides. It would not lead to the establishment of a de-facto Palestinian state. The differences between the sides are not great and an independent Palestinian state can be established only through serious negotiations."
Regarding the issue of a nuclear Iran the President said that this should not only be Israel’s concern. He said that Iran threatens genocide, its leadership is morally corrupt, and a significant segment of the Iranian people oppose the regime. He suggested that an international moral voice be raised against the Iranian regime that is developing nuclear weapons.