Visit of Shimon Peres, President of Israel, to José Manuel Barroso: extracts from the joint press briefing
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 07/03/2013 First transmission: 07/03/2013
On 7 March 2013, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, received the visit of Shimon Peres, President of Israel, in Brussels.
Following their meeting, they held a press briefing on the topics they discussed, namely on the formation of a new Israeli government following elections held on 22 January 2013, the strengthening of strategic relations between the European Union and Israel, the Middle East Peace Process, Syria's crisis and Iran's nuclear threat.
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 Shimon Peres, President of Israel, to the joint press briefing, at the European Commission in Brussels
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): 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.
||General view of the speakers
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH) 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 recognised 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.
||Cutaway of a photographer
||Soundbite by Shimon Peres (in ENGLISH) on the Middle East Peace Process: There are maybe some differences about tactics, not about the overall strategy and particularly about the two-state solution. This is the only solution and I think the sooner we shall restart the negotiations, we shall be able to move. After the elections and establishment of a new government in Israel I think there is a chance to do so. We can see the beginning, we can see the destination and in spite of pessimism and scepticism, I do believe it can be done.
||Cutaway of a cameraman
||Soundbite by Shimon Peres (in ENGLISH) 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, Barack Obama, President of the United States, 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.
||Cutaway of press
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH) 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. We cannot decide this 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.
||Soundbite by Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, Spokesperson of the EC, (in ENGLISH) giving some closing words to end the press point while José Manuel Barroso and Shimon Peres are leaving.