Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today met with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in the framework of the third meeting between the Israeli and Italian governments. They signed a joint statement in which they noted the progress that has been achieved in bilateral relations and emphasized their determination to further enhance and expand cooperation in various fields: security, economics, social issues and culture.
At a joint press conference, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "Italy is one of Israel’s European trading partners, and today, thanks to the joint statement and the agreements that we signed, we have provided additional infrastructure for our bilateral relations. We also discussed the great challenges – in economics and security, and we reiterated the importance of our position that Iran be prevented from achieving nuclear weapons and that sanctions and international pressure must be applied to this end."
Italian Prime Minister Monti said, "I am pleased to be here for the second time in six months and to note how the friendship between us has grown. We are full of admiration for Israel’s achievements in recent years under your leadership. As a start-up nation, Israel has become a model for the world and an inspiration for cooperation between states. In the sensitive field of regional relations, we see Europe’s security in Israel’s security. We absolutely reject threats to regional stability and denial of the Holocaust. Any threat to Israel is unacceptable."
The two governments also signed the following agreements:
1) A cooperation agreement in the field of high-tech industries;
2) A cooperation agreement on aid to developing countries;
3) A cooperation agreement in the fields of culture, education and science;
4) A cooperation agreement in the field of youth and students; and
5) An agreement on the mutual recognition of driver’s licenses.