Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Netanyahu takes office in official ceremony at Beit Hanassi

From THE JERUSALEM POST, Apr. 1, 2009:

Incoming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took office Wednesday in a ceremony at Jerusalem's Beit Hanassi, and said that his government was faced with many pressing challenges.

..."On this eve of Pessah, we will remember this; we have no other country, we will watch over it and, with God's help, it will watch over us as well."

Speaking before Netanyahu, Olmert lamented that he had not succeeded in reaching a peace agreement during his term, and said that he regretted his mistakes. "I have made mistakes and I am sorry for them," he said. "In addition to tough decisions and achievements, I have also made mistakes, and I am not afraid to admit it."

Turning to the peace talks with the Palestinians and Syria, Olmert added, "I did not succeed in realizing my dream of attaining true peace. During the entire length of my term I did not stop trying to bring peace with the Palestinians and the Syrians." ...

...President Shimon Peres thanked Olmert in his speech and reminded Netanyahu of the importance of a two-state solution.

..."The tasks that await you are immense: The moral obligations to preserve the job market, even during a heavy global crisis; the responsible management of the national budget; expanding infrastructure and developing a regional economy; making education and social values a central effort; concluding the draft of a constitution and fighting organized crime."

"But above all," he said, the new government would be tasked with "maintaining the security of the state in view of the "Axis of Evil" and the sting of terror, and establishing a multinational front to halt the Iran's nuclear race.

"While strengthening the State of Israel you must also invest supreme efforts to promote peace on all fronts. The country adopted the vision of two states, for two peoples, as initiated by the US administration and agreed upon by most of the world's countries. And your government will establish the shape of our reality," the president said.

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