Italy views “Europe’s security in Israel’s security,” Italian Prime Minister
Mario Monti said Thursday at a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
“We absolutely reject threats to regional
stability and denial of the Holocaust,” Monti said in reference to Iran. “Any
threat to Israel is unacceptable.”
Monti said that the sanctions against
Iran were effective and undoubtedly had an influence in disrupting the Iranian
economy, and were likely to bring about a change in Tehran’s nuclear
Monti also expressed his concern over the rocket fire on the
South from Gaza, and expressed his solidarity with the residents
Netanyahu reiterated “the importance of our position that Iran be
prevented from achieving nuclear weapons and that sanctions and international
pressure must be applied to this end.”
Monti arrived in the country at
the head of a six-minister delegation to take part in the third annual meeting
between the local and Italian governments. Both premiers signed a joint
statement noting progress in bilateral relations and pledging their
determination to enhance and expand cooperation in the fields of security,
economics, social issues and culture.
“Italy is one of Israel’s European
trading partners, and today, thanks to the joint statement and the agreements
that we signed, we have provided additional infrastructure for our bilateral
relations,” Netanyahu said.
The two countries signed five bilateral
agreements dealing with hi-tech, aid to developing countries, cooperation in the
fields of culture, education and science, youth and students, and mutual
recognition of driver’s license.
Israel also holds joint annual
government-to-government meetings with Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and