Shimon Peres on Egypt: Learn from Gaza

Israeli President Shimon Peres and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a joint press conference in his resdency on February 01, 2011 in Jerusalem, Israel. Merkel has travelled to Israel with members of her cabinet in order to conduct joint government cabinet meetings with their Israeli counterparts. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

President reminds German chancellor that Hamas rose to power following democratic elections in Gaza, says ‘we must ensure that human rights are guaranteed in a real democracy’

Feb 01 (KATAKAMI.COM / YNET) — President Shimon Peres met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at his official residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday. The main issue on the agenda was the situation in Egypt following theviolent uprising.

The president warned the chancellor that “the world must learn from what happened in Gaza. Democracy begins with elections – but does not end with elections. Democracy is a civilization, and if you choose the wrong side you bring about the end of democracy. We must ensure that human rights are guaranteed in a real democracy.”

Peres reminded Merkel that Hamastook over Gaza following democratic elections. “The world saw what happened in Gaza when they pushed for democratic elections and a radical and dangerous movement, which won’t give the Gazans one day of democracy, rose to power.

Addressing the Iranian nuclear program, he said that “all options are on the table.”

The president thanked the German chancellor for “your clear stand on Iran and for trying to prevent any danger which is unnecessary to peace and the free world. Your voice is loud and clear and all options are open.”

He explained in the closed meeting that “Iran is trying to force an extreme religious hegemony on the Middle East and Islamic countries.”

Merkel said she agreed with Peres’ remarks on the Iranian threat, saying that this was a problem which threatened the entire world and not just Israel.

“Israel’s security is a global matter, not a bilateral matter,” she said, adding that “in light of the recent events, it’s time to speed up the peace process.”

She clarified that the Palestinian Authority’s leadership was strong. “I believe I have arrived in Israel at a very important time. Time is essential to guarantee that Israel remains an independent state within its borders. The concept of two states for two people cannot remain a statement – it must be seen on the ground.”

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