peres south korea 311.
(photo credit: AP)
President Shimon Peres, currently on a working visit in South Korea, expressed shame and outrage at the heroes’ welcome accorded to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), that took place in Istanbul this week.
A leader who calls for the extermination of a whole people, and who develops nuclear weapons of mass destruction does not deserve a place at an international summit, said Peres, during a media conference on Wednesday.
Instead of being received with honors, he should stay home, he said.
Peres underscored that Israel is defending her borders against missiles and Iranian-supplied weaponry. Israel welcomes any humanitarian aid to Gaza, but a country that sends such aid must understand that it cannot be delivered without being subjected to a security check.
Peres drew a parallel between the precautions that South Korea takes against any infiltration from North Korea that would place South Korea in jeopardy, and the precautions that Israel has to take against terrorist infiltration.
In this context he referred to the Turkish ship in the “Free Gaza” flotilla that had been raided by Israeli naval commandos, who were attacked by terrorists on board. This would certainly indicate that it was not a peace ship, said Peres.
The president has spent most of his visit strengthening economic ties
and cooperation in scientific research and development, and
experiencing some of Korea’s scientific and technological achievements.
These included riding in an electric bus, and meeting an almost
lifelike robot, with which Peres obligingly shook hands.
Peres also participated in the signing of a cooperation agreement
between the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
and the Weizmann Institute.
Peres also suggested to the Koreans that as part of their scientific
cooperation with Israel, they jointly establish a virtual research
Though initially billed as a state visit, Peres’s trip to South Korea
was downgraded to a “working visit” by the Korean government, which
bowed to international pressure that followed the flotilla raid.
The difference, however, appeared to have been a semantic gesture of
appeasement. Peres received a red-carpet welcome with a military honor
guard, and none of the appointments scheduled for him were canceled.