Meeting between FM Peres and the Spanish Prime Minister

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
February 21, 2002

Foreign Minister Peres met privately on Thursday (February 21) in Madrid with the Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar.

Mr. Peres briefed Mr. Aznar on his efforts to reestablish a partner on the Palestinian side. He described his continuing dialogue with those surrounding Arafat, with Arafat’s knowledge, conducted in hope of reconciling the positions of the two sides and reaching an understanding.

Prime Minister Aznar stated that he understands that the situation is both complicated and complex, and added that the Spanish Presidency of the EU will make every effort to renew the peace process. He emphasized the importance that he places on Israel’s relations with the EU and expressed his readiness to continue promoting this relationship.

Foreign Minister Peres also spoke on the telephone with the King of Spain, Juan Carlos, briefing him on the situation in the region. Mr. Peres noted that he views a positive Saudi involvement in the peace process as vital to the resolution of the conflict.