Home  > Israel-News Today  > Week in Review
FM Shalom meets with world leaders in Davos (MFA-MINISTRY FOREIGN AFFAIRS) Communicated by the Foreign Minister´s Media Adviser 01/30/05)Source: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/MFA+Spokesman/2005/FM+Shalom+meets+with+world+leaders+in+Davos+30-Jan-2005.htm MFA} MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS MFA} MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Silvan Shalom met on Friday (28 January) in Davos, Switzerland with Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayad and with many world leaders. The Foreign Minister, who is in Davos for the annual conference of the World Economic Forum, met also with the Foreign Minister of Jordan, EU President Jose Manuel Barroso, and the new US Assistant Secretary of State, Bob Zoellick. FM Shalom was also scheduled to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dr. Mohamad el Baradei.

In the framework of a panel discussion, in which FM Shalom and Palestinian ministers participated, Shalom said that Arafat´s absence and the election of Abu Mazen as Palestinian Prime Minister have created a very good opportunity for stopping terrorism and making progress in the diplomatic process. However, past mistakes must not be repeated, and a temporary ceasefire that leaves terrorism on the sidelines like a bomb waiting to explode is not an acceptable solution. Abu Mazen must dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, collect the illegal weapons in the PA, arrest wanted terrorists, destroy explosives laboratories, and put a stop to incitement to violence. Israel is not willing to return to a situation in which attacks and funerals take place during the day and peace talks are held at night.

In response to a question, Foreign Minister Shalom explained that the evacuation of Israeli communities is not a simple task, considering that the population is third-generation and has lived there for 35 years.

Richard Geer, who was present at the beginning of the meeting between Salam Fayad and Silvan Shalom, said that he was happy to witness a meeting between ministers whose common name means "peace" (Shalom and Salaam).

FM Shalom informed the Palestinian minister that Israel is interested in helping to improve Palestinian daily life. To this end, Israel plans to build 24 civilian crossing between the PA territory and Israel, and another five goods crossings, the largest of which will be at the Erez checkpoint. The cost of this construction will be hundreds of millions of dollars. Shalom further stated that progress on the diplomatic front is not enough; it is also important to promote economic factors that directly affect Palestinian welfare. The minister noted that the cessation of terror would create a positive atmosphere that would benefit both sides and would allow Israel to decrease the number of roadblocks and ease Palestinian movement. He stressed the importance of promoting joint economic projects not only in the Gaza Strip but also in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). The two ministers agreed to meet periodically.

EU President Jose Manuel Barroso, in his meeting with Foreign Minister Shalom, praised Israel´s contribution to the smooth running of the recent PA elections. He spoke at length about values common to Israel and Europe and agreed with Shalom about the need to work together to promote mutual understanding. He told how deeply moved he was by his visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the camps´ liberation, and expressed his hope that "Old Europe" died 60 years ago. Europe today has become an economic and political giant (25 states with 450 million inhabitants). FM Shalom asked President Barroso to work for the inclusion of Hizbollah in the list of terrorist organizations. This would be a significant European contribution to the promotion of peace in the region. ( Copyright ©2004 The State of Israel. 01/30/05)

Return to Top