At the center of our talks today was the continued failure of the Palestinian Authority to stop the terrorist attacks on our communities.

 

 Statement by FM Shalom after meet with Luxembourg FM Asselborn

 

FM Shalom greets FM Asselborn at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. (Flash 90)

It is my pleasure to welcome the foreign minister of Luxembourg and president of the European Union, my friend and colleague, Jean Asselborn, here to Jerusalem.

Close relations between Israel and Europe are a strategic asset to both sides. The recent conclusion of the Joint EU-Israel Action Plan within the framework of the ENP has given practical expression to this truth. I welcome the opportunity to discuss with my colleague how we can build on this platform in the coming weeks and months, in order to bring real and tangible benefits to the citizens of both sides.

I also used this opportunity to thank the foreign minister for his agreement to participate in the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this Monday, to mark the 60th Anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps. It is profoundly important that Europe and Israel, together with the United States and Russia and the entire international community, should come together to mark this special occasion.

At the center of our talks today was the continued failure of the Palestinian Authority to stop the terrorist attacks on our communities. Israel will not tolerate the continuation of these attacks. Today I demanded of the European Union to do everything in its power to bring about the necessary Palestinian actions.

The terrorists pose an ongoing threat not only to Israel’s civilians, but also to the interests of the PA and also of Europe. The Palestinian president must confront them and dismantle their infrastructure, if there is to be any hope of bringing calm to our region and returning to the path of negotiations. Europe can make no greater contribution to bringing peace to this region than bringing the reign of Palestinian terror to an end.

It is imperative in this context that the EU also include Hizbullah on its list of terrorist organizations. Hizbullah is today directly involved in the financing and planning of the majority of Palestinian terror attacks on Israel, while also seeking constantly to inflame our northern border. Adding it to the EU terror list will make a profound contribution to the war on terror and to our efforts to bring calm and a return to dialogue in our region.

I also discussed with my colleague Israel’s deep concerns regarding Iran’s ongoing nuclear weapons program. While we welcome Europe’s efforts to secure Iranian compliance with its treaty obligations, we remain convinced that the international pressure on Iran must be stepped-up, in order to ensure the full cessation of Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear capabilities. This is a time of great opportunity in our region, but it is also a time of great danger.

It is my genuine hope that the EU will act to ensure that the necessary steps are taken by the Palestinian Authority and others so that we may indeed move forward towards the security and peace we seek.