Shaul Mofaz wins Kadima primary 370.
(photo credit: Itzik Edri, Kadima)
In his first working meeting with President Shimon Peres on Sunday, MK Shaul
Mofaz, the newly elected head of Kadima, said Israel’s leaders should concern
themselves with the welfare of the nation’s citizens, and that his party would
be a dignified opposition.
It is part of the president’s routine to meet
on some kind of a regular basis with the prime minister, leaders of coalition
and opposition parties, heads of various divisions of the defense and
intelligence establishment, governor of the Bank of Israel and other people in
In a closed-door meeting, Peres and Mofaz discussed
various aspects of defense policy as well as the social and economic issues that
are currently on the national agenda.
Peres congratulated Mofaz on his
victory, saying that like any election in Israel it was neither simple nor
He told Mofaz that once again he is carrying a heavy responsibility
on his shoulders as he did when he served as chief of staff and later as defense
In thanking Peres for having received him, Mofaz said he was
fully aware of the degree of responsibility that he has taken upon himself and
that for as long as he could remember he had made the welfare of the state his
number one priority.
“This is the way I worked in the past and this is
how I intend to work in the future,” he said. “Israel’s leaders must concern
themselves with the welfare of the nation’s citizens in everything related to
security, policy and socioeconomics.”
As he pledged in his election
campaign and afterward, Mofaz told Peres that Kadima under his leadership will
present an alternative to the current administration and will be a dignified
Peres commended Mofaz for having initiated the Atidim project
during his period as chief of staff.
Atidim was established to narrow the
socioeconomic gap between the center of the country and the peripheral regions
through the provision of better educational resources and encouraging the
pursuit of excellence.
Peres told Mofaz that he was very proud of the
fact that Mofaz had continued to advance Atidim in his capacity as defense
minister and afterward, saying that the project provides equal opportunities for
higher education for people living in outlying areas.
Peres wished Mofaz
success in his new role and congratulated Kadima for running the elections in an
Peres, who wants to make higher education easily
accessible not only to Jewish communities located beyond the center of the
country but also to minority communities, will pay an official visit to the fast
developing Beduin city of Rahat on Monday, where he will announce the
establishment of an academic unit that will be an extension of Ben-Gurion
University of the Negev.
Peres will tour Idan Hanegev, the new industrial
park in Rahat where more than 30 companies will provide thousands of jobs for
residents of the south.
Accompanied by Rahat Mayor Faiz Abu Seheban,
Peres will also tour the new residential area which is within easy commuting
distance of the industrial park.