Netanyahu: Ties with Arab world ‘stronger than ever’

Netanyahu looked forward to the Jewish new year while praising Israel’s recent diplomatic successes and breakthroughs particularly with the Arab world.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday declared that Israel’s current ties with the Arab world are unprecedented in its history, and its diplomatic efforts around the globe are constantly breaking new ground.

Speaking at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem to Israeli diplomats during the traditional toast ahead of the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday, Netanyahu stated that Israel today is “in a different place; the alliance with the United States – with North America as a whole – is stronger than ever, as are ties with Europe, including developing ties with Eastern Europe. The great breakthrough is to all continents.”

As for the Middle East, “what is actually happening with them has not happened in our history even when we signed the agreements,” Netanyahu said. “There is cooperation in various ways, on various levels, but is not yet out in the open. But what is not yet out in the open is much greater than in any other period in Israeli history. This is a major change. The entire world is changing.”

Regarding Israel’s “return to Africa” and its developing ties with several African countries, the Jewish state is “expanding the scope of technology assistance and it is leading to great interest across the continent,” Netanyahu, who also serves as Israel’s foreign minister, added.

Breakthroughs have also been achieved through major efforts in Asia. “There had not been any real contact with China or significant contact with India and Japan, to say nothing of the Muslim countries, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. This changed at a stroke in the past two years.” Netanyahu recently returned from an historic visit to the two Muslim-majority countries.

He also pointed to “a great change with Russia, … regarding both joining economic and cultural interests and, of course, to achieve – as much as possible – a coordination of expectations and intentions on a strategic level … . The link is being fostered and strengthened by us and by Russia itself.”

Israel and Russia have established a line of cooperation with the Russian army to avoid collisions in Syria. Netanyahu visited Russian premier Vladimir Putin last week.

“These are great changes, a sea change that is happening now, and we will not forget Australia which we visited,” Netanyahu underscored.

Looking Ahead to Latin America

The annual toast was moved up by a week due to what Netanyahu called “success.” He is slated to embark on an historic visit to Latin America next week, the first by a sitting Israeli prime minister. “This is a gigantic bloc that we have not yet visited,” Netanyahu highlighted.

He is slated to take part in a ceremony to mark the terrorist attacks at the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 and at the AMIA Jewish Community Center in the city in 1994. The two terror attacks killed 115 people. He will also visit Colombia and Mexico and will meet with regional leaders.

“It is a great market in a large bloc of important countries. There is a breakthrough here…the fundamental assumption was that if we made an agreement with the Palestinians, which we have wanted and still want, it will open the world to us. There is no doubt that it will help, but the world has opened even without it, and it does not detract from the importance of considering tracks and the diplomatic process and normalization,” he explained.

“What there is here is a great change and it is happening despite the fact that, to our regret, the Palestinians have not changed the conditions for a diplomatic agreement which are unacceptable to a large portion of the public, and it is still happening,” Netanyahu expanded.

He said that Israel is succeeding in the diplomatic realm because it is “cultivating two kinds of strength, which together are bringing a third. We are cultivating as policy, economic-technological strength which allows us to cultivate Israel’s military-intelligence strength and their combination gives diplomatic strength and this is a different concept.”

By: World Israel News Staff