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Shimon Peres"The elections are intended to set our goals for the future. They should be conducted with respect, with sensitivity to one another and with restraint."

The President of the State of the Israel, President Shimon Peres, delivered a speech to the opening of the winter session of the 18th Knesset. During the speech President Peres addressed the Iranian issue and said, "We are operating against Iranian attempts to build a nuclear weapon. The current Iranian regime is a genuine and immediate threat to the entire world, not just to Israel. The world cannot live in the shadow of a nuclear Iran and under the dark clouds of the policy of a fanatical regime. The coalition that has been built to deal with the threat of a nuclear Iran is a coalition that is not necessarily pro-Israel. But it is committed to protecting the peace and security of the world. If that coalition relents it will not know victory. All the options, including the military option, must remain on the table so that Iranian understands their seriousness. The military option is not the preferred option but in the eyes of the world, and of Israel, it is a serious option. The policy of the Iranian regime is not for show. We must treat it as the real, serious existential threat that it is. The Iranian people are not our enemies. The Ayatollahs, who are busy enriching uranium and inciting to violence, are the real enemy of the Iranian people. And of many other nations."

As we gather in this chamber, an alarm bell is ringing. Never has it been so clear that Iran is seeking to build a nuclear weapon.

UN Security Council convenes on the situation in the Middle East (UN Photo/Evan Schneider)

Right now, if you look at North Africa into the Middle East and further East, Israel is the only one stable, genuine, open, transparent democracy and therein lies our internal stability.

Photo: GPO


After 38 years, Israel has officially reopened its embassy in Ghana, which was historically the first African state to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Bureau)
Israel and Ghana's flags.

After 38 years, Israel has officially reopened its embassy in Ghana. Israel's ambassador in Accra, Sharon Bar-Li, presented her credentials to Ghana's President John Evans Atta Mills, at a traditional and moving ceremony in which the name "Israel" was beaten out on "talking drums".

In her speech, Ambassador Bar-Li noted that this event marks the deepening of the historic relations between the two states. Ghana was the first African state to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, and Israel was very active in Ghana in the areas of development, training and education, and provided assistance in setting up local institutions. Ghana established itself as a preferred destination for investments in the western part of the continent and is an economic target for Israeli businesspeople.

The decision to reopen the embassy in Ghana was made during Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's visit to the country in September 2009, in accordance with an agreement by both states to open embassies.

This move is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' policy to strengthen and expand relations with African states and Israel's activity on the continent.