published: 07.10.2013, 13:24 | updated: 07.10.2013 17:34:48
Jerusalem - The fight against international terrorism is a joint task not only for the Czech Republic and Israel but for the whole civilised world, Czech President Milos Zeman said on meeting his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres in Jerusalem today.
Zeman said it is no good to negotiate with terrorists as terrorists must be fought against. Negotiations only make them stronger, he added.
He called Israel an island of democracy in the Middle East.
Shortly after beginning, the Zeman-Peres meeting was interrupted as Peres had to leave to see the dying Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
The Israeli authorities later announced the death of Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of Sephardi Jews.
Zeman and Peres are to meet again this afternoon.
Zeman met Peres at the beginning of his three-day official visit to Israel. In his speech he followed up his speech he made in Berlin earlier this year. In both speeches he spoke about the European Union's soft approach to terrorists, which he considers as wrong as the western powers' policy of appeasement towards the Nazi Germany was in the 1930s.
Zeman told Peres that both of them knew the consequences of the appeasement policy.
The struggle with international terrorism is a joint task of not only our two countries, but of all civilised countries in the world, he added.
The struggle with terrorism must be based on a simple principle: No negotiations with terrorists, but a fight. Since if you do not fight them, the consequence is the strengthening international terrorism. In future the fight would be much more difficult than now, Zeman said.
Peres said Israelis admired the Czech Republic's clear and strong attitude to the dangers of our time.
He said the Iranian nuclear programme and the Hezbollah movement were among the dangers.
Peres said Iran should abandon its threats and join the world of justice and hope.
He appreciated the role the Czech Republic had played in blacklisting Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.
Zeman said the Czech Republic fully supports Israel as an island of democracy and a technological tiger.
He said he has been Israel's friend and will be its friend.
He recalled Prague's recent offer that Czech soldiers join the U.N. mission in the Golan Heights.
In addition, the Czech Defence Ministry is sending a military transport plane with a crew to the Sinai Peninsula, he said.
In the EU, the Czech Republic has supported the listing of the Hezbollah movement's military wing among terrorist organisations, Zeman recalled.
Israel welcomed the EU's decision in July.
Zeman also emphasised the importance of the fight against terrorism at his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later today.
He called himself a politician who had always supported Israel.
Zeman said the two nations shared their fate.
In the 1930s, Czechoslovakia was an island of democracy guided by President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk who visited Israel, Zeman said.
This afternoon, Zeman paid a visit to the Yad Vashem Memorial and paid homage to Zionism founder Theodor Herzl.
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