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Photo by: Mark Neiman, GPO
Peres to Chinese FM: Peace is Israel's greatest desire, Iran is the greatest problem
By GREER FAY CASHMAN
12/19/2013
President tells Wang Yi, like China, Israel prefers diplomatic solution to Iran's disputed nuclear issue.
 




President Shimon Peres welcomed Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to his official residence on Thursday, where he told him that Israel faces not only grave threats but also great opportunities.

The threat is of a nuclear Iran, Peres said, but the chance for peace must not be ignored. Peace, he said, is Israel’s greatest desire. “Iran is the greatest problem.”

President Shimon Peres 
meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Photo: Mark Neiman, GPO
The world, in which China is a major player, should help the Iranian people to divorce themselves from the policies of threats and hostilities so as to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear capability and serving as a center of hostility, Peres continued.

Like China, he said, Israel prefers a diplomatic solution.

Diplomatic pressure must be maintained to ensure that sanctions remain effective, said Peres, adding that Iran must be forced to comply with the inspections and limitations that the international community demands.

Turning to the subject of negotiations with the Palestinians, Peres said Israel stands at the crossroads in the effort for peace, which is its greatest desire. He said he was appreciative of “China’s constructive support” in efforts to bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and said that Wang’s visit and his clear support for peace strengthen the work toward a peaceful solution.

“China is the greatest model in recent history of how millions and millions of people escaped poverty with their own hands and their own minds,” he said. “The Middle East can and should learn from your experience.”

China strongly supports Israel’s desire for peace, said Wang.

Quoting Peres, he said that the president had told him that peace needs to be made through taking initiatives. It will not happen on its own or by waiting. Wang credited Peres with being one of the founders of the friendship between Israel and China and noted that Peres is still the honorary president of the Israel-China Friendship Council.
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