Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: Greeting to foreign journalists for the New Year 2002

Jerusalem, 13 Janaury 2002

Let’s hope the coming year will be a year where we will be moving forward towards peace, or at least we’ll start with a political process that will bring us to peace.

I hope that in the coming year we will not be involved in the difficult problems we are facing now. I hope that you will be able to report less about terror, less about violence, less about incitement.

Let us also hope that in the coming year we will be already after the very complicated and dangerous development which we have faced recently, and that is the involvement of Iran in our area here. I mention Iran mostly due to the fact that Iran is the center of world terror. I think that the world understands now the danger of terror, the danger to stability in the area here, and the danger to stability all around the world.

I hope that in the coming year we will be able to emphasize and elaborate and you will be able to report more about Israel as a democracy – the only democracy that exists in our region; you will be able to report about the achievements of Israel – our scientific achievements, our achievements in technology, our achievements in farming, our achievements in music, our achievements in education, in development. I hope that you will be able to report more about our effort in the coming 10 years to bring another million Jews to Israel from all around the world, which is a major effort, but I believe that will be maybe the best contribution to the development of the country, to the security and to the peace that we are really looking for.

Israel has been working for more than 40 years in different countries – developing, teaching, helping. Today in the Cabinet meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Peres reported about our activities in India – activities in development of modern agriculture and so on.

Let’s hope that in the coming year we will be able to really show – and you will be able to report – what Israel can do. You will be able to report about a stable democracy, about our achievements. Let’s hope we will be less involved in war, in battles, in incitement, in violence, and we will be able to move forward towards peace. I don’t have to emphasize that Israel is a peace-seeking country.