Peres: New gov't to honor all agreements

Prior to official Czech Republic visit, president says Netanyahu will pick up where Olmert leaves off.

peres and eu president 248.88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
peres and eu president 248.88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu's new government will honor all agreements made by outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government, Israel Radio quoted President Shimon Peres as saying on Sunday. The president, who will leave for a state visit to the Czech Republic on Monday, specified that this included negotiations to free IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip since June 2006. During his visit, the president said, he will present Czech government officials with the coalition agreement between the Likud and Labor parties, and explain that the new government will be committed to continuing the peace process. The Czech Republic currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union. Israel Radio also reported that Peres would shorten his visit to Prague in order to return to Israel for the presentation of Netanyahu's government at the Knesset on Tuesday. During the visit, Peres will meet with political leaders, including Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, in order to discuss the strengthening of bilateral relations and Israel's relations with the EU. He will also promote the signing of a wide-ranging research and development agreement between Israel and the Czech Republic, while using the occasion to explain Israel's position on Hamas and Hizbullah. Foremost in these discussions, however, will be the proposal to form a strong European coalition to thwart the Iranian nuclear threat. Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.