Comments by Israeli President Moshe Katsav at a Meeting of Heads of State Attending the Opening of the Yadvashem Museum (Excerpts)

March 15, 2005

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In his meeting with the Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr. Goran Persson, the President surveyed the developments in the Middle East in general and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular. The President said that there is no justification for Iran's efforts to obtain mass destruction weapons and that Iran is sensitive to the international public opinion and, therefore, diplomatic pressure may cause it to stop its nuclear military program. If Iran obtains nuclear weapons, it may be assumed that other countries in the Middle East and terrorist organizations will try to do likewise. The President referred to Syria's intentions to make peace and said that Syria can prove the sincerity of its intentions by permitting the bones of the late Eli Cohen to be brought to Israel. "This is a humanitarian gesture and not a political one," said the President.

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The President of Poland, Mr. Aleksander Kwasniewski, told President Katsav that the Government of Poland had decided to establish in Warsaw a special museum on the history of Polish Jewry.

The Polish President discussed with President Katsav the developments in the Middle East and the relations between Israel and the Palestinians and said that the main problem is stopping the terrorism. He said that Poland would do everything in its power to support Israel's efforts to attain peace.

The Presidents also discussed the political situation in Poland and in Eastern Europe. President Katsav said that Europe has an important role in the process of bringing peace and stability to the Middle East and in solving the conflict between Israel and the peoples of the region. "Europe can strengthen Abu Mazen's position by supporting him but it must also be involved in the activities of Iran, Syria and the Hizbullah which are supporting terrorism against Israel."

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