donald tusk and netanyahu_311.
(photo credit: Moshe Milner / GPO)
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Thursday his country fully supported
Israel and would stand by it, in particular when it assumed the rotating
presidency of the European Union later this year.
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“Israel has the right
to expect from the international community to have full support [with respect
to] safety, security and peace in this region,” Tusk said in a joint press
conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
count on our cooperation and support, dear friend,” Tusk said.
message is what I brought with me to Israel. It is in the interest of all the
people, not just one nation. It is in the global interest,” he said.
Israeli perspective must have its place in European policies. There must be the
conviction of the European politicians that the situation in the region and the
world requires cold objectivity in terms of facts and honest and courage in
terms of intelligence,” he said.
Tusk arrived in Israel on Wednesday for
a two-day visit, with a delegation that included his foreign and defense
ministers as well as several other cabinet members and a number of ministry
secretaries and under-secretaries.
This was the first such meeting
between members of the two countries’ cabinets. A second joint ministerial
meeting is planned for next year in Warsaw.
During the current visit,
Poland signed a number of cooperative agreements including in the areas of
defense, health, environment, education and culture.
Netanyahu spoke of
the deep friendship between the countries, and of his own connection with
“I can tell that you, Donald, are a true friend of Israel. As prime
minister, I have the great privilege of counting you as a personal friend, and
Poland, too, is a real friend to Israel,’ he said.
Later this year, when
Poland stands at the helm of the EU, it will have a key role in advancing a
number of issues, Netanyahu said.
He said that as a result, Warsaw would
play a key role in advancing a number of issues of importance to
“First, by continuing the international fight against Iran’s
pursuit of nuclear weapons. You made very strong statements regarding the danger
that could result from this development, and I appreciate your stance and your
determination in this first area,” Netanayhu said.
Second, he said, he
hoped that Warsaw would take steps to return the Palestinians to the path of
direct negotiations and to prevent their pursuit of unilateral
“The third thing of which we spoke at length during our
meetings is the fight against attempts to delegitimize Israel, and standing
clearly behind the Jewish state’s right to defend itself – a right granted to
each and every country,” Netanyahu said.
He added that he hoped Poland
would upgrade Israel’s standing in the EU, by “upgrading the
“Israel is fighting for its right to exist, to live in security
and exist at all, against ceaseless waves of attacks; against the regime in Iran
calling for our destruction,” he said.
A strong, clear position is needed
from Europe to combat this, such as what Israel heard from Tusk, Netanyahu
“I want to tell you, my friend Donald, Jewish history and Polish
history will forever be connected with one another. The chapters of our
past – both the triumphs and the tragedies – cannot be rewritten. But the
future is up to us, and I have no doubt that both of us are committed to
ensuring that our common future is one of security, of hope, of prosperity and
of peace,” Netanyahu said.