Jerusalem, 15 June 1995

VISIT BY IRELAND’S FOREIGN MINISTER

(COMMUNICATED BY FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN)

Ireland’s Foreign Minister, Dick Spring, will arrive in Israel for an official visit beginning Saturday night, 17.6.95 and lasting until Monday, 19.5.96. FM Spring, who is also a leader of Ireland’s Labour Party, will meet with Prime Minister Rabin and Foreign Minister Peres during his first official visit to Israel.

Ireland de-facto recognized Israel in 1949 and de-jure in April 1963. In 1975, Ireland agreed to exchange non-resident ambassadors. Ireland was the last European country to allow Israel to open an official representation in its capital. The embassy was officially opened on 22.7.94.

Ireland has been directly involved in the Middle East conflict with a UNIFIL battalion of 700 soldiers and the donation of $5 million to development projects in the territories which FM Spring recently announced.

In 1994, trade between Israel and Ireland was $150 million, an increase of 42% from the year before. Israel’s exports consisted of about one-third of the total. In 1994, approximately 9,000 Irish tourists visited Israel.