Westerwelle: Nuke Iran is not an option for Germany

German FM meets with Netanyahu, Peres in J'lem; expresses support for US initiative to restart peace process.

May 17, 2013 18:05
2 minute read.
President Shimon Peres and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, November 7, 2010.

Peres and Westerwelle 2010 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)


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“Iran wants an option of nuclear arms, but this is not an option for Germany, we stand by our friends,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told President Shimon Peres on Friday. Westerwelle met with Peres in the late afternoon after meetings earlier in the day with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Westerwelle also referred to the ongoing massacres in Syria, saying, “the atrocities in Syria shock us all.” In response to a declaration by Peres that everyone interested in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should support the peace initiative of US Secretary of State John Kerry, Westerwelle agreed: “We should do everything to support the John Kerry initiative.”

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He underscored the essentials of confidence- building measures and said that it was important not just to talk but to act.

Westerwelle assured Peres of Germany’s support for peace talks. “Germany is 100 percent committed to supporting the efforts of Kerry to revitalize and relaunch negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians which is not only in the interests of the region, but the whole world.”

At the outset of the meeting Peres expressed appreciation to Westerwelle for his address to the plenary of the World Jewish Congress in Budapest earlier this month in which he spoke of preserving the memory of the Holocaust, and declared that anti-Semitism has no place in the world. In his address he also referred to Israel’s security needs, the threats to Israel’s existence and the need for Israel and the Palestinians to work out a two-state solution to their differences and to live as good neighbors. Peres commended Westerwelle on delivering an address that was “profound, sincere and to the point.” He read it with great respect and admiration, he said, adding that Israel appreciates the support of Germany on most of the issues which Israel is confronting.

The Middle East, Peres said, is facing an unprecedented situation. “Whereas we used to worry about frontiers, we are now worried about states which have lost their coherence and are divided rather than united.”

Peres emphasized that terror is also dividing the Middle East, because there are so many terrorist organizations with no respect for religious, ethnic or cultural values. “The policy of the terrorists is terror,” he said.

He also expressed concern that although the Cold War has long been over, Russian and Chinese attitudes continue to differ vastly from those of the West.

The economic sanctions which have been imposed on Iran have left an imprint, said Peres, and should be continued until at least the upcoming elections in June. At the same time, he said, support has to be shown for the Iranian people who are suffering not because of the sanctions, but because of their leadership.

In supporting Kerry, Peres insisted, there should be no compromise while the Iranians continue to build nuclear bombs and to sponsor terror.

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