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November 17, 2013 1:03 pm

Peres Praises Hollande for ‘Unflinching Stance to Prevent Iran From Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon’

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres greet French President Francois Hollande at Ben Gurion Airport, November 17th, 2013. Photo: Israel GPO.

French Prime Minister Francois Hollande was welcomed warmly to Israel Sunday by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu only days after France’s rejection of a proposed deal between Western powers and Iran solidified his country’s firm stance against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

“We are full of admiration for your unflinching stance to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon for mass destruction,” Israeli President Shimon Peres said during a short ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport.

“We thank you for your visit at this crucial time. And for your commitment to stand by our side. Your clear voice and brave stance imbue faith in our region, in which the belief in justice and peace was born,” he added.

Netanyahu offered his own brief welcoming remarks, telling Hollande  “All Israelis extend their hand to you in brave friendship and with the blessings of peace.”

Hollande did not disappoint in his own remarks during the ceremony, pledging that “France will not make concessions on nuclear proliferation.”

“Until we are sure that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons we will not stop sanctions. Nuclear weapons in Iran is a threat to Israel, to the region and to the entire world,” said Hollande.

Following his arrival Hollande met with Peres at his Jerusalem residence, where the Israeli President thanked him for his hand in efforts to forge a peace with the Palestinian Authority.

“France is… contributing to the peace process by supporting the creation of economic infrastructure in the Palestinian Authority including the industrial park in Bethlehem,” Peres said.

“At every junction France stretched out its hand to support the efforts for peace and to assist us in ending the conflict between Israel and our neighbors.”

On Monday Hollande will visit the West Bank city of Ramallah for discussions with Palestinian Authority officials.

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