PM Netanyahu welcomes Romanian PM Ponta 24 Jun 2014

PM Netanyahu welcomes Romanian PM Ponta

    Last night we heard Khaled Mashal, leader of Hamas, praise and defend the brutal kidnapping of the three innocent Israeli teenagers on their way home from school. Hamas remains committed to its war against Israel and its war against every Israeli citizen.
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    PM Benjamin Netanyahu PM Benjamin Netanyahu Copyright: GPO/Haim Zach
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Tuesday, 24 June 2014), met with Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta and made the following remarks:

    "Prime Minister Ponta, Victor, it's very good to welcome you again in Jerusalem. We had the opportunity a few months ago to have a quiet dinner together. It was an excellent opportunity to get to know you and to also continue the extraordinary friendship between our two countries. The fact that your visit is accompanied by so many ministers and is matched by our ministers is a testament to the further strengthening of our relations. I think this is a commitment we both share. It's something that reflects historical ties. We have a vibrant Jewish community from Romania. They are very proud Israelis, very proud Romanians, and it's reflected in what we did today.

    We have just signed a series of agreements: in environmental protection, in medical science, in care for senior citizens, in information and communications technology, in Holocaust remembrance, in educational technologies and work visas. It's very important for our construction plans, as well as our infrastructure, to have Romanian expert workers, and in addition, we signed, I think, a very important, specific agreement on the laser project, which I think will advance our fields and our expertise in both areas, in both countries.

    Our cooperation makes both our countries stronger and we both seek the same things. We want prosperity for our citizens and we want tranquility for our countries. We both seek peace and security. We seek it in the Middle East; we seek it in Eastern Europe; we seek it in the entire world.

    We share a strong commitment to democracy, to freedom, to the rule of law.  We also share a commitment for the fight against bigotry and all forms of anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance. And anti-Semitism has perhaps been the worst intolerance in history, and I think there is a special responsibility and need to combat the forms of anti-Semitism that we see emerging in parts of Europe. We have a centuries-old affinity between us and I believe that we have to make sure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past and embrace the future.

    There are forces that seek to bring us back to a dark age. They're in the Middle East, but they also send their killers, fighters they call them, into Europe. And I think we need to define a clear fault line between civilization and savagery, and take concrete action against the forces of darkness.

    Last night we heard Khaled Mashal, the leader of Hamas, praise and defend the brutal kidnapping of the three innocent Israeli teenagers who were making their way home from school. Mashal once again made clear that Hamas remains committed to its war against Israel and its war against every Israeli citizen, and coincidently, against every Jew around the world.

    So, how can President Abbas make an alliance with these terrorists who extoll kidnapping? I appreciate what President Abbas said a few days ago in Saudi Arabia, rejecting the kidnapping. I think these were important words. Now, if he really means what he said about the kidnapping, and if he is truly committed to peace and to fighting terrorism, then logic and common sense mandate that he break his pact with Hamas. This is the only way that we can move forward. I think this is something that is shared by many in Europe who understand that the quest for peace and stability and tranquility means that we have to fight the forces of terror, intolerance and darkness. There can be no alliance with the kidnappers of children.

    Prime Minister, it's something that I know you share, and I know these are common values. Those values are expressed in our cooperation and I look forward to further strengthening the alliance and the friendship between Romania and Israel. Welcome to Jerusalem."

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