Extracts from the joint press briefing by José Manuel BARROSO, President of the EC, and Shimon PERES, President of Israel, following their meeting in the European Commission
Première transmission: 07/03/2013
Brussels, Belgium - EC/Berlaymont
Fin de production: 07/03/2013
On an official visit to the European Union, Shimon Peres, President of Israel, was received this morning in Brussels by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC.
The two leaders discussed a range of issues, including the formation of a new Israeli government following elections held on 22 January, the strengthening of strategic relations between the European Union and Israel, the Middle East Peace Process, Syria's crisis and Iran's nuclear threat.
The European Union expects the formation of a broad and stable government coalition, committed to develop its relations with Europe and to a negotiated settlement for the Middle East Peace Process, President Barroso told journalists after the meeting.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and of Shimon Peres, President of Israel, at the joint press briefing (VIP corner of the European Commission building)
||SOUNDBITE (English) by José Manuel Barroso: Our meeting today comes in a key moment of Israel's political life. Elections to the Knesset were held on 22 January and negotiations for a new government are taking place as we speak. The European Union expects the formation of a broad and stable government coalition, committed to develop its relations with Europe and to a negotiated settlement for the Middle East Peace Process. I am looking forward to engage with the new Israeli government on a broad range of bilateral, regional and international issues.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by José Manuel Barroso on the Middle East Peace Process: I know President Peres is committed to achieve peace too. So my call here today is to use our energy, our capacity and our leadership to resume negotiations on the Middle East Peace Process. In this context, we believe that Israel should be fully recognized by its regional partners and should live in security within its borders. At the same time, the Palestinian aspiration to have its own State must be fulfilled. The European Union remains firmly attached to a two-state-solution. Two states living side-by-side in peace and security. We therefore encourage both sides to support and implement confidence building measures that allow the peace process to move forward. Any actions that may undermine the two-state solution should, clearly, be avoided. We need to avoid that a one state reality prevents a two-state solution.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Shimon Peres on the Middle East Peace Process: There are maybe some differences (between Israel and the EU) about tactics, but not about the overall strategy and particularly about the two-state solution. This is the only solution. The sooner we shall restart the negotiations, (the better). There is now a chance to move after the elections and establishment of a new government. In spite of pessimism or scepticism, I do believe it can be done.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Shimon Peres on Iran: I do believe the sanctions are making their mark upon. None of us wish that the problem can be solved in a non-military way. But to make the Iranians convinced that this is serious, President Obama announced that all other options are on the table. We are partners to it and support it. The sanctions did more than it was expected but not yet enough to achieve the goal. So we have to continue with it.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by José Manuel Barroso on designating Lebanon's Hezbollah as a terrorist group following the attack last year on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria: The instigative and judicial processes will show whether we should later take political steps and decisions (on blacklisting Hezbollah). Decisions cannot be taken in advance. The immediate goal is to have investigations and measures leading to the conviction of the perpetrators of those terrorist attacks. There can be no impunity. Once the perpetrators are known, their inclusion in the list subject to the common position on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism may be considered.
||Departure (2 shots)