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Tuesday, November 20, 2012
President Peres Meets with German FM Westerwelle

Tuesday 20th November, 2012

President Peres Meets with German Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westerwelle

President Shimon Peres, this morning (Tuesday, 20 November 2012), held a
working meeting with German Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westerwelle, who has
arrived in Israel for a series of meetings with the leaders of Israel and
the Palestinian Authority in light of the current security situation.

President Peres thanked the Germany Foreign Minister for coming to Israel
and said, "We appreciate the support of Germany and of Chancellor Merkel who
is one of the European Union's most significant leaders. Over the past seven
days Hamas and the other terror organizations in Gaza have fired over 1500
rockets at Israel. These rockets have been fired at schools and at homes.
Israel is committed to stopping the ongoing rocket fire at the civilians in
the south. We greatly appreciate your efforts to bring an end to the attacks
on Israeli civilians and to bring hope to the region."

The German Foreign Minister conveyed his government's support for Israel's
position and told President Peres that the German government is standing by
Israel and that Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens. Dr.
Westerwelle added that Hamas is responsible for stopping the rocket fire
against Israel. He further added that the support for Israel was not just
from Germany but the Europe Union as a whole as expressed by the statement
from Brussels yesterday. The Foreign Minister said that within the
international community there is a mistaken impression that the rocket fire
against Israel came as a response to the escalation of the last few days but
that Germany knows, and explains to others, that the rocket attacks have
been occurring for years. With respect to Egypt, Dr. Westerwelle said that
he hoped Egypt would use its central position to mediate a ceasefire and
that he was optimistic that Egypt understood the weight of responsibility
upon it.

Later in the day President Peres will deliver a speech and lay a wreath at
the state ceremony in memory of David Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime
minister, who died 39 years ago. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will also
take part in the ceremony. In the evening The Secretary General of the
United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, will begin his visit in the region with a work
meeting with President Peres at the president's residence in Jerusalem.

For additional information:

Ayelet Frish Spokesperson and Media Adviser to the President of Israel,
050-6205111

Yair Zivan International Media Coordinator, Office of the President of
Israel, 052-3450061

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