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PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting, 18 December
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PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting, 18 December

18 December 2016

PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Sunday, 18 December 2016), at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, made the following remarks:

 

"In recent months, especially in the past few weeks and the last few days, and yesterday, we have been making very great efforts to reach an agreed-upon solution in Amona. We have held dozens of discussions and submitted very many proposals, some I would say out-of-the-box, very creative proposals. We did so out of goodwill and love for settlement; love for settlement, indeed so. There has not been a government that showed more concern for settlement in the Land of Israel and no government will show more concern. We are making every possible effort. I think that Amona community leaders, who were with me and Minister Bennett in my office until the early morning, can attest to a simple fact: We have done the maximum. Now I can only hope that the residents of Amona, who are now discussing the proposed outline among themselves, will accept it and this would be the right decision for them, for settlement, for the entire people of Israel and for the State of Israel.

 

I would also like to point out that I returned last week from visiting two Islamic countries. Now, I say this based on the knowledge that what I say here will not be broadcast, just as this historic visit was barely mentioned in the media. But this was a historic visit in every respect. These were two important Islamic countries that admire the State of Israel, there is no other way to put it, and that want to tighten links with us.

 

One country is Azerbaijan, from which we import almost half of our oil, and with which we want to check the possibility of linking up to their gas pipeline, which supplies gas to all of Europe. We have ramified ties with them – security and others. Our welcome was extraordinary. This was the second visit by a Prime Minister; the first was by me 19 years ago. This was the first visit by an Israeli Prime Minister to Kazakhstan, a gigantic country in central Asia, which has wide-ranging ties with Russia and China, and also with Iran. It wants to open its markets to Israeli investments – and to Israel's major efforts in agriculture, technology, industry and – of course – security. These were breakthroughs.

 

There is an additional importance: These are Islamic countries that are cultivating coexistence between various faiths, first and foremost between Muslims and Jews, and are making efforts to embrace Israel. This is of very great importance given what is occurring in the complete opposite direction in our region and in other parts of the world. Therefore, this visit was of very great importance both for Israel and in general. In the clear knowledge that these things will not be mentioned or recycled in the media, I say them here, merely to test the veracity of my remarks."

PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting