Press Advisories

5. 12. 2012 20:40

Israeli prime minister: We thank the Czech government for its support

Today in Prague, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally thanked the Czech government for supporting Israel in the vote at the UN.

Last week, the Czech Republic voted against a draft resolution elevating Palestine’s status to UN non-member observer state. The Czech Prime Minister believes that such a move would damage prospects for the Middle East peace process, which has long been supported by the Czech Republic. The future and long-term solution to this problem lies in the existence of two separate countries, the State of Israel and a Palestinian state, which can only be achieved by direct negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

The Czech Republic urges both parties to refrain from unilateral actions and hopes that direct negotiations will be resumed as soon as possible,” said Prime Minister Petr Nečas.

On their way to intergovernmental consultations in Berlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli Cabinet ministers stopped off in Prague to thank the Czech government officially for its support. “Thank you for your government’s opposition to the unilateral UN resolution, for your friendship, for your courage,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He drew attention to a parallel with 1938 and the Munich Agreement, when world powers forced democratic Czechoslovakia to sacrifice its vital interests in favour of hopes for peace which soon proved futile. In this context, he went on to observe that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians could only be resolved by negotiations taking into account the needs of both parties, not by unilateral resolutions at the UN which failed to take into account the needs of Israel and made no contribution to peace in the region.

It is the duty of every state to protect its citizens

In connection with the recent conflict in Gaza, Prime Minister Petr Nečas assured his Israeli partners that the Czech Republic unambiguously respected Israel’s right to defend itself against missile attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Both prime ministers also jointly condemned the continuing bloodshed in Syria and expressed hope for a political solution to the conflict in the near future. In connection with developments in the nuclear programme in Iran, they agreed that the international community must address the unacceptable actions in the military parts of the Iranian nuclear programme.

Relations between the two countries are at their best ever levels

An important topic of discussion between Petr Nečas and Benjamin Netanyahu was Czech-Israeli relations. “The Czech Republic considers the State of Israel a strategic partner. Our relations in all areas are progressing very well,” said the Prime Minister. With regard to specific projects, the prime ministers discussed a further deepening of cooperation in the promising area of science and research. They welcomed the continued development of cooperation between Czech and Israeli universities, as well as joint applied research projects in the business community.

Mutual trade is expanding between the Czech Republic and Israel. In particular, Czech exports to Israel are increasing and are set to reach record levels this year. Israel is the Czech Republic’s most important trading partner in the Middle East region and ranks fifth among key non-European countries.

In Czech-Israeli cultural exchanges, the Czech Republic hosts about 80 cultural projects annually, indicative of the keen interest in and popularity of Israeli culture in the country.

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