Liberman: We have reached the last opportunity to decide on strong sanctions against Iran so that they will be effective.
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman, who is currently visiting Romania, met on Wednesday (14 April) with Romanian President Traian Băsescu, Prime Minister Emil Boc, Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi, the Minister of Regional Development and Tourism Elena Udrea.
At his meeting with President Băsescu, the two leaders discussed developments in the Middle East. FM Liberman said that we have reached the last opportunity to decide on strong sanctions against Iran so that they will be effective and the Iranian regime will not pose a threat to stability in the Middle East and the entire world. The Foreign Minister noted that significant sanctions imposed by the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada would be effective, but he is not optimistic that this will take place in the near future. Once Iran achieves nuclear weapons, it will be a totally different game. In any case, FM Liberman said, Israel is a strong state and will know how to defend itself.
With regard to Syria, FM Liberman told President Băsescu that the only thing that interests Assad is to maintain Alawi rule in Syria. Syria views any demand by the West for progress and openness as a threat, while they continue to maintain their close ties with Iran and tranfer weapons to Hizbullah.
In his meetings with the Romanian leaders, FM Liberman noted that Israel and Romania maintain excellent relations and share many common interests. He added that Israel appreciates Romania’s friendship over the course of the years. He also discussed with them the strengthening of bilateral economic ties in various fields, and the encouragement of reciprocal tourism between the two countries.
Statement to the press by FM Liberman following meeting with Romanian FM Teodor Baconschi:
"We had a very interesting meeting, the second meeting in the last two months. We talked about bilateral relations between Romania and the State of Israel. We really appreciate our very good relations, traditional good relations with Romania. Even during the Soviet period, Romania was the one country that maintained diplomatic relations with Israel.
We have had very good experience with Romanian involvement in the political talks in our region and we think that there is a place for more involvement from the Romanian side in our region. We also spoke about our very good relations in the areas of economy and security. Of course I want to stress that in Israel we have a very big Romanian community – about half a million Jews from Romania are living in Israel. This is also very important.
We will continue our dialogue on many issues – the peace process, bilateral relations, and the situation in this region – and I want to thank you for your stance in international arenas on many issues regarding the Middle East and Israel. Thank you."