President Peres hosted an official state welcome for Romanian President Basescu and the two held a diplomatic working meeting.

 Romanian President Basescu welcomed to Israel


Copyright: GPO/Mark Neiman

(Communicated by the Office of the President)

President Shimon Peres, this morning (Monday, 20 January 2014), hosted an official state welcome reception for Romanian President Traian Basescu, who is on an official visit to Israel. President Peres and President Basescu held a diplomatic working meeting during which they discussed the state of the peace process, the Iranian nuclear program and bilateral relations between the two countries.

President Peres addressed the peace process and said, "The most burning issue right now is the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians with the involvement of many other countries and very much guided by Secretary of State John Kerry. I think it is crucial that these negotiations will be completed successfully. A failure to do so would be tragic for the Middle East. The situation in the Middle East can flare up overnight if the talks fail. Our history has taught us that even if you win a war it’s never a permanent victory, there are always more conflicts. If you win peace it is more permanent.

We have achieved peace with two countries already, Egypt and Jordan. The other countries that fought us are now fighting internally. You look at the Middle East and there is blood being spilt everywhere. People are being killed and injured but also millions of refugees are being thrown into a new tragedy. We know that a decision must be taken; either to achieve peace as we should or to leave our people without hope."

President Basescu also addressed the current peace talks and said, "We knew that our visit here was at a crucial moment for developments in negotiations between Israel and Palestinians. As you said you can win in a war but that doesn’t mean peace and the most important thing for a nation is peace. We discussed the negotiations with our American allies.

My main message is ratify the Kerry initiative and seize the opportunity at a time when the Middle East is on fire. I see the result of compromises in Europe, it is the longest period of peace which Europe has, after the Germans and French succeed to compromise after the Second World War. All of us put part of our sovereignty in a basket called the EU in order to guarantee peace for our nations.

I know the extreme difficulties of these negotiations but the security of Israel is the basic element to be discussed, because without security the peace will not become a reality. Israel needs guarantees that this nation won’t have its security affected and all partners must understand that. At the same time the Palestinians need a recognized state and to assume the responsibilities for the Palestinian state. We honestly believe that everybody understands that this moment must be captured and used for the betterment of the nations."