President Shimon Peres on Sunday hosted a US Senate Appropriations Committee delegation at the President's Residence in Jerusalem led by Committee Chairman Senator (D-HI) Daniel K. Inouye and including the Committee's ranking Republican, Senator (R-MS) Thad Cochran, and senior Committee member Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD).
Peres thanked Inouye and told him that, "You stood by our side in the most demanding and difficult moments." The president also thanked Sen. Cochran and Sen. Mikulski and told them that, "Israel is lucky to have had the US by its side over the course of history. And still today we are working together towards a better Middle East, with freedom, equality and democracy for all."The president emphasized that Iran should not be regarded just as a problem but as a tangible threat to peace in the Middle East and around the world, and added that the solution to preventing Iran from attaining nuclear weapons is in the hands of the world's leaders and requires a broad coalition that will both enact clear economic sanctions against it and set a clear red line that will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
On the peace process, the President reiterated his view that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a serious and positive partner for peace and that Israel and the Palestinians must proceed to direct and secret negotiations toward a solution, given that the issues on the agenda are well-known.