DFM Ayalon: The Europeans must show leadership and lead the Palestinians to the negotiation table, instead of being dragged behind maneuvers aimed at bypassing the negotiations.
(Communicated by the Deputy Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Today (Tuesday, August 16, 2011) Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met with his Hungarian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Zsolt Nemeth. During their meeting and joint press conference, Ayalon conveyed the message to the Europeans that a unilateral Palestinian move in September will not promote a solution, but will rather fortify the Palestinians in their positions and release Israel of all previous obligations regarding the process. “You, the Europeans, the great supporters of the Palestinian Authority, must show leadership and lead the Palestinians to the negotiation table, instead of being dragged behind maneuvers aimed at bypassing the negotiations,” Ayalon said.
DFM Ayalon added that the region requires stability, not steps that lack substance and may increase expectations, shatter illusions and lead to violence. Ayalon further clarified that it is not yet too late to prevent a Palestinian request to the UN: “A public European position that opposes the unilateral move may allow the Palestinians to climb down from the tree.”
At the joint press conference, Ayalon was asked about the issue of building in the settlements and in Jerusalem. Ayalon clarified that Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, is not a settlement, and that the settlements do not constitute an obstacle to peace. Ayalon praised the good bilateral relationship between Israel and Hungary, expressed appreciation for the government’s actions against anti-Semitic outbreaks in Hungary and encouraged the government to continue to act forcefully against extremist elements in Hungary.
During his visit to Hungary, DFM Ayalon signed an agreement extending Israel-Hungarian cooperation in the field of education and academia. Ayalon also met with members of various parties of the Hungarian parliament, and briefed them on the ongoing changes in the Middle East and on the inherent dangers of a unilateral move in September, briefed various Hungarian media outlets , met with leaders of the Jewish community, visited important Jewish sites, including the monument commemorating the Hungarian Jews who were murdered and drowned in the Danube, the Great Synagogue of Hungarian Jewry and the home where Theodor Herzl was born.