Spanish PM meets Peres, vows to advance peace process

Spanish PM meets Peres,

President Shimon Peres met Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Thursday to discuss enhancing bilateral strategic ties, the Iranian issue, the Goldstone report and advancing the Middle East peace process. "This January, Spain will assume the EU presidency," Zapatero said. "We will not allow this period to pass without being committed, and without working vigorously, to advancing the peace process. This is an important mission. We will cooperate fully with President Obama's administration." Peres thanked Zapatero for his government's recent action regarding the cancellation of the law that allowed putting foreign nationals - including Israeli leaders and officers - on trial. The president spoke to the Spanish prime minister about ways to break the diplomatic deadlock and said that Israel was ready to immediately sit at the negotiating table, in fairness and in a positive atmosphere. "We will continue to work for Palestinian economic development and the building of a Palestinian force able to contend with domestic threats," Peres said. "In Israel, there is great appreciation for President Obama and we believe that his goals and his intentions are good, correct and just and that he acts out of a sincere desire and effort to bring peace to our region."