FM Peres meets with US House Minority Leader Gephardt

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
January 16, 2002

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres met today (January 16) with a delegation of the House of Representatives led by House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres welcomed the visit of the delegation, especially as the visit is taking place at a difficult time.

The Minister stated that Israel is involved in the US-led struggle against terrorism, not through obligation but through conviction.

Peres said, "We do not wish to be the occupiers of the Palestinians. We did not leave the house of bondage in Egypt in order to build a house of mastery in Israel."

Minister Peres expressed his dismay regarding the Palestinian effort to smuggle offensive arms into the Palestinian Authority. Referring to incident of the "Karine A arms freighter", he stated: "This is not a love boat, but rather a ship of fools."