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Bennett asks visiting Swiss president to act against Iran nuclear program

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (right) shakes hands with Swiss President Guy Parmelin in Jerusalem on October 28, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (right) shakes hands with Swiss President Guy Parmelin in Jerusalem on October 28, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)

During his meeting with Swiss President Guy Parmelin in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett asks that Switzerland take significant steps against Iran’s continued progress in its nuclear program.

Switzerland is one of the 35 states on the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors for 2021-2.

The two leaders also speak about expanding bilateral cooperation in science, security, and health, according to the premier’s spokesperson.

“Mr. President,” says Bennett after their meeting, “we’re eager to cooperate with Switzerland in many areas, including the global battle against COVID-19, in which both Israel and Switzerland have acquired considerable expertise and we gladly can learn from you and I’m sure vice versa. I think in the future we are going to see more pandemics and it’s something that the world has to learn to live with.”

Parmelin is the first Swiss president to visit Israel in more than two decades.

The Swiss president speaks about Israeli-Palestinian relations, urging a return to peace talks.

“Any positive economic measures cannot stop the repeating cycle of violence if they are not part of political process,” he says. “I have therefore called in name of Switzerland to initiate and to continue the process to look for peace for approaching the different people.”

Parmelin offers his country’s service as a potential meeting place for such talks, and says he will offer the same message to PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah this afternoon.

Earlier this morning, President Isaac Herzog hosted Parmelin and his wife Caroline at the President’s Residence. Herzog raised the issues of Israeli civilians and MIAs being held by Hamas in Gaza.

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