Monday, January 31, 2011

Netanyahu: Israel watching with "vigilance and worry" with fear that Egypt may fall into hands of Islamic radicals

In a joint press conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will work towards achieving peace with the Palestinians, but stressed that the sides must "sit together and try to resolve the difficult and complex conflict."
"Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) is 10 minutes from here – in Ramallah. I can go to him and he can come to me. At the end of the day there is no other way to secure peace."

"Of course we want to ensure stability in the region so that this peace will be able to take root."

"The conflict is not about the (West Bank) settlements; it is about the settlements called Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa. This is why we expect that as part of a permanent agreement the head of the Palestinian Authority will come out and say 'the conflict is over; we recognize a Jewish state and the end of the conflict.' The (Palestinian) refugees will not pour into the State of Israel."
Addressing the uprising in Egypt, Netanyahu told reporters that Israel was following the developments with "concern and vigilance, in the hope that peace, stability and security will be maintained."
"Our real fear is of a situation that could develop ... and which has already developed in several countries including Iran itself, repressive regimes of radical Islam."

"Although the protests may not be motivated by religious extremism in a situation of chaos, an organised Islamist body can seize control of a country. It happened in Iran. It happened in other instances".

During his meeting with Merkel, Netanyahu called to tighten sanctions against Iran and said all options remain on the table.
"I told the chancellor that over the past 16 years there has only been one year in which Iran suspended its nuclear program, and that was when (Iran) believed the US would resort to the other option. That was in 2003".
Merkel agreed, saying Iran's nuclear program "poses a threat to Israel and the entire world. Germany took the necessary measures to toughen the sanctions, and we will continue doing so at the European Union in the coming weeks."