You were among the leaders who convinced Europe to take a clear stand to convince the Iranians that they must depart from threats and terror. You did the same with Hezbollah, you convinced Europe that Hezbollah is an organization of terror.

 President Peres welcomes Czech President Zeman

 

Copyright: GPO/Mark Neiman

(Communicated by the Office of the President)

President Shimon Peres, this morning (Monday, 7 October 2013), at his Jerusalem residence, hosted an official state welcome for Czech President Milos Zeman and a delegation of senior Czech government ministers. The two presidents spoke at the welcome.

President Peres began his speech by thanking the Czech President for his consistent and steadfast support of Israel at the United Nations and within the European Union:

"It’s a great pleasure to have you here as a guest of our land. Both because of your personality and because of what your country means to us. As a person you don’t know what is hesitation, you call right, right and wrong, wrong and you don’t try to hide between the two. I greet you with profound thanks.

We are following with admiration your clear and strong position about the dangers of our time like a nuclear Iran which is aggressive in its intentions and you were among the leaders who convinced Europe to take a clear stand to convince the Iranians that they must depart from threats and terror and enter a world of justice and hope. You did the same with Hezbollah, you convinced Europe that Hezbollah is an organization of terror.

We have to bring an end to the clouds over the skies of a new world. The greatest cloud is the Iranian one and we want to see a different Iran. Iran is not our enemy, her policy is a danger and policy you don’t change by words, only deeds. We listened carefully to the speech at the UN which was then corrected by the Supreme leader but for us what will count are the real positions and acts in the coming days. I am glad that the Syrians started to dismantle their chemical arsenal; it is for their own sake. They killed enough, they destroyed enough and the time has come for them to change. I hope the time will come for Iran as well. The sanctions played a role and the Iranian leadership understands they cannot go against the world, against peace, against responsibility."

President Peres added that, "We have renewed the peace negotiations and I know that you are a supporter of it. Our relations are in a better shape than ever before, in all domains – culture, economy, defense and now very much in science. You can be a leading force in promoting science as a savior of many to escape poverty and oppression. We shall cooperate closely and fully. This is a meeting of friends, to promote friendship, to see and work for a better world. I know you won’t hesitate to show your statesmanship and courage to continue to do what you are doing so impressively and we feel privileged to be your friends and to welcome you here."

President Zeman thanked President Peres for his warm words and said, "Ours is a friendship based on fact not only on words. Let me inform you that the Czech Republic with the help of our Foreign Minister who is in this delegation declared the decisiveness inside the European Union that the military wing of Hezbollah is to be included into the black list of terror organizations. This is the first fact. The second one is that our Minister of Defense, also a member of the delegation, negotiated in New York at the UN for the Czech mission in the Golan Heights to substitute the Austrian troops. It would be possible to continue the list of those facts, facts not words. You know Hamlet Mr. President – "words, words, words" but the facts are more important. Inside the European Union I have some doubts about the European guidelines against Israel and in my visit in countries within the EU I always repeat that."

President Zeman continued and said, "The fight against international terrorism is the common task of not only both countries but of all civilized countries all over the world. This fight must be based on a simple principle; no negotiations with terrorists. If you do not fight the consequences will be the strengthening of international terrorism and the future fight will be more complicated than the present one. That’s why I’d like to express our full support for Israel as an island of democracy in the Middle East. My congratulations Mr. President for your fight against terrorism, for your democracy and for your high economic and technological level. I was a friend, I am friend and I shall be a friend."