Remarks by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton
before her meeting with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu
Thank you. Prime Minister. Can I just say what a great pleasure it is to see you, to be back in Jerusalem, back in this great nation, to say first of all that I'm fully supportive of the work that Secretary Kerry is undertaking. I know he's travelled many times already to talk with you, to talk with President Abbas. And as I've made clear, I'm fully supportive of his work. I said this in Ramallah last night, I say it here in Jerusalem, that we want this to be the way forward, to bring direct negotiations, and Europe will support that wholeheartedly. It is, as you rightly indicate, the way forward.
I also want to say that it is, of course, vital that you are confident in the security of your country. That is paramount to this country. I understand that and appreciate that, and it plays a big part in the approach that we take to these efforts that are going forward. And I wish you well in so doing.
Prime Minister, we have much to talk about, and I know how important it is to have the chance to consult with you about the situation after the elections in Iran. I'm privileged to lead the negotiations in our twin-track approach. I also recognize that it's important that we consult with those who have a deep interest in this, and that we have a chance to think about the broader region on the questions that concern us all. And I hear what you say, especially on your concerns about what's happening with Hezbollah. And we will talk about these things. But more than anything, thank you so much for the welcome to Israel.