European Jewish Congress
EJC President Meets with European Parliament Speaker Pöttering at the Knesset
High-level meetings
EJC President Meets with European Parliament Speaker Pöttering at the Knesset

European Jewish Congress president Pierre Besnainou met on Wednesday, May 30, with the president of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering at the Knesset in Jerusalem, where President Pöttering addressed a special plenary session, to discuss the situation in the Middle East and the Iranian nuclear threat.

"I have officially asked President Pöttering to declare the Iranian president persona non grata within EU member states for having violated European laws ," declared Pierre Besnainou. "Throughout history our continent has suffered too many times from extremism and we cannot afford to ignore or underestimate the threats coming from Iran "

President Pöttering assured the EJC that the EU would stand by Israel's side whenever its security and existence were threatened by actions or speeches like those made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

During his address to the Knesset, Pöttering praised the “particularly warm relationship” between the European Union and Israel.

“This relationship links us as democracies and communities based on values which arebringing us closer together as partners.” He told the Israeli parliament, “Rest assured that whenever Israel's security and existence are threatened by speeches like those made by the Iranian President, or even by actions, the European Union will stand by your side, without hesitation."

Hans-Gert Poettering also stated that Europe understands Israel's security concerns but wants faith-building moves.

"The European Parliament calls on the one hand for the release of the abducted Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit, as well as of the British correspondent Alan Johnston, and on the other for the imprisoned members of parliament and other politicians to be released from custody," he said.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
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