Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met today in London with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The two discussed the British security plan for bringing the Israeli and Palestinian sides back to the negotiating table.

 FM Silvan Shalom meets British PM Tony Blair

 

FM Shalom meets with British PM Tony Blair in London (Mar 2, 2004)

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Media Adviser)

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met today in London with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The two discussed the British security plan for bringing the Israeli and Palestinian sides back to the negotiating table.

Next week Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is to visit Britain and also discuss the plan with Blair. This week Prime Minister Blair will also meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

Foreign Minister Shalom with meet next week with President Mubarak in Egypt, after which he will depart for Washington for meetings with senior administraiton officials, thus concluding his diplomatic contacts to return the Palestinians to the negotiating table.

During his meeting with Prime Minister Blair, FM Shalom discussed Prime Minister Sharon’s disengagement plan. PM Blair told FM Shalom that he understands Israel’s need for security, and that without security it will be hard to achieve peace. FM Shalom reiterated that Israel is committed to the roadmap, and added that Abu Ala refuses to meet with Prime Minister Sharon because he is afraid to return to the roadmap.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told Foreign Minister Shalom that the British are opposed to the relocation of settlers from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank and to the annexation of territories.

Foreign Minister Shalom raised the issues of Iran and Libya. With regard to Iran, he said that Israel remains skeptical and that Iran is continuing its efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction. Regarding Libya, he said that the situation looks more positive and that Libya is making constructive moves towards the West.

FM Shalom noted that Egypt is demonstrating a positive approach to advancing the peace process.