“We will move forward with our neighbors who want peace, and many do,” Netanyahu told the Knesset.
Prime Minister expressed optimism about the prospects of peace in the Middle East and underscored Israel’s evolving and rising status in the region.
Speaking at the Knesset on Monday during a special session held in honor of visiting Czech President Milos Zeman, Netanyahu said that “the Arab Spring did not live up to its expectations, and we are standing as the world’s frontline position against radical Islam. Unfortunately, there are hypocrites who still condemn us and not the bloodthirsty zealots.”
Despite the regional turmoil and the looming dangers, Netanyahu said he was “encouraged” by the situation.
“Our relations with the countries of the world are flourishing in an unprecedented manner. Our relations with the moderate countries in the Arab and Muslim world are being forged openly,” he stated.
Earlier this month, Netanyahu visited the Gulf country of Oman and met with its ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said. It is the first trip made by an Israeli prime minister since Shimon Peres in 1996.
Israeli Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev and Communications Minister Ayoob Kara have recently visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Regev attended the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam, where the Israeli team won two gold medals and had the Hatikva national anthem played for them. Kara spoke at a communications conference in Dubai.
“For years there was a consensus that the path to peace goes through peace with the Palestinians, but this does not guarantee that they will last,” Netanyahu noted. “Relations that have been forged after the Oslo Accords were severed due to the Palestinian stubbornness, and they are being forged again despite the fact that there are no negotiations with the Palestinians.”
“We will move forward with our neighbors who want peace, and many do,” he stated.
Israel and Chad renewed ties, 46 years after they were cut off, as Chad’s President Idriss Deby met with Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Netanyahu will soon make a visit to the Muslim-majority African country, where they plan to establish full diplomatic relations.
Israeli media estimates that Israel is on the way to establishing ties with Sudan in Africa, currently in a state of warfare with Israel, and with the Gulf state of Bahrain.