Argentina protestors to Peres: You need Nobel prize for murder
Thousands of people in Buenos Aires protested against President Shimon Peres' visit to Argentina on Monday, some of whom carried a banner telling the octogenarian he deserved a Nobel Prize for murder.
The banner referred to 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, which Peres won together with former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for the peace talks that resulted in the Oslo Accords.
The demonstrators, who marched toward the Israeli embassy, also waved banners bearing slogans against Israel, as well as posters of Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 Iranian revolution.
Protestors in Brazil last week offered Peres a similar welcome, some of whom shouted at him: "War criminal, go home."
During Peres' visit on Monday, he held met with Néstor Carlos Kirchner, his Argentinian counterpart. Kirchner told Peres in the meeting that he supported Iran's nuclear program, as long as it was for peaceful purposes.
Peres, in Argentina: 'the beginning of a new relationship'
Israeli President Shimon Peres, who arrived Sunday in Argentina, home to Latin America's biggest Jewish community, for a two-day visit, today met with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, just ahead of a planned visit by Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas. "We are not talking of extending an existing relationship but of starting a new one, for a new world," Peres said.
Peres was greeted on arrival here by Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana that said that the meeting between President Fernández de Kirchner and Peres will "contribute to the search for peace in the Middle East."
The 1994 Nobel Peace prize laureate, Peres is the first Israeli president in 20 years to visit Argentina.
On his speech Peres, who came to meet with Fernández de Kirchner to sign agreements and take part in an economic seminar, remarked that "people should not forget the attacks against the Israeli embassy (1992) and the AMIA Jewish Centre (1994) in Buenos Aires, whose victims were not only jewish", and insisted that the whole world should pay real attention to "Iran's nuclear programme."
Peres is accompanied by a 40-strong business delegation and by Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov with the aim of boosting the relationship at a variety of levels.Apart from his fellow-president CFK, the Israeli Labour Party veteran (86) will be meeting with various important politicians and members of the local Jewish community. Peres will be addressing an Argentine-Israeli business seminar this morning and the Argentine Council for Argentine Relations (CARI) on Tuesday morning. His tour of the region also included Brazil.
The president's entourage confirmed that one of the events he was scheduled to participate in was relocated following security concerns. The decision to move the event followed reports of fears of a massive anti-Israel protest.
At Argentina's president turn to speak, Fernández de Kirchner addressed Peres by saying that "for this country (Argentina), the peace in the Middle East is a fundamental cuestion due to the pursue of a safety world".
Cristina also remarked that "Argentina gives recognition to the Palestine Estate but also the right for Israel to lie peacefully in its territory."
During his visit here, Peres is also expected to visit a public square erected on the site of the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy, as well as the rebuilt Jewish cultural center that was blown up in 1994.
Both attacks killed 107 people and despite years of investigation remain unsolved. Argentina blames the cultural center bombing on Iran and has requested but failed to get the extradition of several Iranian officials for questioning.
The Delegation of Associations of Jewish Argentines said one of Peres' chief reasons for his visit to Argentina was to offset growing Iranian influence in the region.
Peres last week visited Brazil, where Abbas is also scheduled to arrive on Friday.
The Israeli president is also expected to address a gathering of thousands of Jews in a Buenos Aires stadium before he leaves.
Amid stalled peace negotiation in the Middle East, Peres' visit comes only days ahead of Abbas' and coincides with a Palestinian announcement that they plan to ask for United Nations recognition of their independence.
Israel has warned the Palestinians against taking such "unilateral action" saying it would be like taking a step backwards in the decades-long negotiating process.
Kirchner has been pushing for fresh negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and has condemned Israel's settlement policy in the occupied territories.