donald tusk and netanyahu_311.
(photo credit: Moshe Milner / GPO)
Poland will join Israel in calling on the Palestinians to negotiate with
Jerusalem without preconditions, in a joint statement the prime ministers of
both countries will sign in Warsaw on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu heads to Poland on Wednesday with a delegation of five ministers to
hold a joint governmental meeting and sign the joint declaration with Polish
Prime Minister Donald Tusk. On Thursday, he will inaugurate a new permanent
exhibition on the Holocaust, in Block 27 at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State
“Both governments agree on the urgent need for progress towards a
two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has come through
direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions,” reads the
Netanyahu’s office released a preliminary copy of the main
points in advance of the trip.
The statement comes as the Palestinians
continue to insist that Israel must halt West Bank settlement activity and
Jewish building in east Jerusalem before talks can begin.
refused to heed that request. But in support of a renewed US push to rekindle
talks, it has agreed to a de facto freeze, in which no new tenders have been
issued for building over the pre-1967 lines.
Palestinians have not backed down from their demand and continue to threaten to
seek unilateral statehood along the pre-1967 lines via the United
In leaning toward Israel’s position, Poland is in the minority
among the 193 UN states. In November, Poland was one of 41 UN member states that
abstained from the General Assembly vote to upgrade the Palestinian status to
that of UN non-member state.
As part of their joint statement on Middle
East issues, Poland and Israel will agree that the latter’s legitimacy, the
security of its citizens, and the Palestinian right to a state should never be
“Unilateral steps by either party are counterproductive to
achieving a sustainable lasting peace,” the joint statement declares. “We
welcome the US government’s efforts in this regard, particularly those of US
Secretary of State [John Kerry].”
According to the statement, both
governments support the vision of a just and lasting solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the State of Israel and the State of
Palestine, allowing for the self-determination of the Jewish and Palestinian
nations, living side by side in peace and security.
The statement also
deals with other regional issues, such as Syria and Iran.
With respect to
Syria, both governments say in the document that they are concerned by the
growing number of fatalities and the ties that many extremist terrorist
organizations have to the conflict.
The deteriorating security situation
in Syria is affecting the entire region, the declaration says, adding that
Poland and Israel are concerned by the broad support the Syrian government has
received from extremist players and organizations, including
Both governments will say they welcome the international
community’s efforts to end the Syrian civil war and restore peace and
With respect to Iran, the statement continues, both
governments agree that Tehran’s nuclear program presents the greatest potential
threat to the Middle East and the world. They further agree that diplomatic
efforts to thwart the country’s nuclear drive must be coupled with a credible
military threat, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Warsaw also agree in the statement to fight anti-Semitism and xenophobia, and
add that Holocaust education is an important part of this
Additionally the joint statement will emphasize the friendly
relations and historic partnership between the two countries.
governments will discuss improved cooperation in the fields of foreign
relations, culture, heritage, education and youth exchange.
This trip is
Netanyahu’s second to Poland since he became prime minister in 2009. It is also
the second such joint governmental meeting. Tusk and a delegation of ministers
visited Israel two years ago.
Joining Netanyahu on his trip will be
Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, Education Minister Shai Piron,
Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat, Science, Technology and Space Minister
Yaakov Peri and Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach.