(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Monday, 1 July 2013 with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and said at the start of their meeting, "I am ready to go into the tent, the peace tent and stay in the tent until white smoke comes out."
Earlier, in their joint statements, Prime Minister Netanyahu said:
"We want peace. I want peace. We want to restart peace negotiations as soon as possible, without any obstacles. We have to get into the tent and stay in the tent and seek to end this conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. That’s our goal. That is Secretary Kerry’s efforts, which I think deserve consistent and constant European support, and I’m sure that Italy will give that support.
In addition, we’re facing significant challenges in our region from security, from a security point of view that I’d like to discuss with you. I think the immediate one is from Hezbollah, which is one of the preeminent terrorist organizations of our time. It’s now participating in the butchering of Syrian civilians with the Assad regime. It’s conducted terror campaigns with Iran across 30 countries including on European soil: in Bulgaria, they tried in Cyprus and failed. And I think that it’s important that Europe designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Because if Hezbollah isn't a terrorist organization, I don't know what a terrorist organization is.
And lastly, I think we have a common interest to make sure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons capability. That too is something that should be tested by what they do and not what they say. And we should always look at substance over style, and as long as Iran continues to enrich Uranium and not to remove its enriched uranium and to continue its activities in the illicit facility in Qom, I think the pressure should be held on them. In fact, I think the sanctions should be increased, because I think that’s the only thing that might produce results if coupled with a credible military threat.
These are positions that I think are important for the common security of Israel and Italy, Europe and the world, and many in the Middle East understand this."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta agreed that the next meeting between the Israeli and Italian governments would take place this December in Turin. The two men also discussed a series of economic issues that would be advanced before the December meeting.