Slovenian deputies to initiate petition on behalf of kidnapped Israeli soldiers.
Ljubljana 14, September, 2007 – The president of the Friendship group with Israel in the National Assembly of the republic of Slovenia, Mr. Franc Znidarsic, pledged to initiate a petition on behalf of the three abducted Israeli soldiers in preparation of the upcoming Slovenian EU-presidency which starts on January 1, 2008. This was announced on Wednesday in connection with a working visit by the European Coalition for Israel in the Slovenian capital. Mr Znidarsic promised to raise the cause with his fellow parliamentarians as an humanitarian issue of respecting the Geneva convention of treatment of prisoners of war. The petition can later be joined by other European parliaments.
Mr Znidarsic also promised to introduce the International Holocaust Remembrance day in the Slovenian parliament in line with the ECI project “Learn from History” which aims at mobilizing churches and civil society groups in Europe to commemorate the day. Mr Znidarsic, who represents the Democratic party of pensioners in Slovenia, has had personal experience of the atrocities of the Nazi regime while as a child spending time in a German camp for forced child labor.
On the issue of Hamas Mr Znidarsic was crystal clear.
- It remains a mystery for me how anyone can fire Quassum rockets into Israeli kindergartens, he said after having visited Israel earlier this year. There can be no change of policy on Hamas before the organization accepts the three conditions which the Quartet has stipulated for starting direct talks, he said. The three conditions are; no to terrorism, yes to accepting the state of Israel and to honor commitments made by previous Palestinian governments.
The pledge was also confirmed by director general Bogdan Benko of the Slovenian foreign ministry who promised that “there will be no change of EU-policy on Hamas during the Slovenian presidency.”
In meetings with governments representatives the Coalition presented their requests for the Slovenian presidency; to raise the issue of the three kidnapped soldiers and remind the peace partners in the Middle East that this remains an issue of serious concern for the European public as well as the keeping of sanctions on the terrorist group Hamas. The Coalition also urged the government to take any appropriate measure to commemorate the International Holocaust Remembrance day on January 27 and to introduce tools for educating the youth about the horrors of the Holocaust.
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