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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
9 July 2012
I am very happy to be here in Israel with Prime Minister Netanyahu. The first time we met was almost 25 years ago. He is in very good shape. We had a very good meeting. We are now going to witness the signature of this important agreement because it is also in one of the most important fields for Israel and European Union cooperation – scientific research and technological field.
Apart from that we have also discussed important political issues. I took this occasion to express the European Union's commitment to Israel living in peace. We are, as you know, in favour of a two-state solution. I really think it is a good moment to restart some hope regarding the so-called Middle East Peace Process and we were expressing this very clearly to Prime Minister Netanyahu and also discussing the situation in the region.
As I said earlier, I think that the Middle East Peace Process should not remain hostage to the so-called Arab Spring. There is a possibility and I hope that the leaders in Israel and in the Palestinian Territories will not miss this opportunity. I think it is important for peace in the region and also for the overall sentiment regarding this region.
So I come here with this message of hope and I am looking forward to deepening our cooperation between Israel and the European Union in all fields, including this very important field of research and technology.