CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat) Jerusalem, 19 July 1996

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Friday), July 19, 1996:

1. The Prime Minister briefed the cabinet on his visit to Egypt yesterday. The Prime Minister said that since the government was formed, there has been a wave of demonization expressed in the Arab world vis-a-vis the new government. The visit to Egypt was made against the background of an Israeli and Egyptian interest in dispelling the tension. The visit to Israel by Jordanian Prime Minister Kabariti, prior to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Egypt, and Dr. Dore Gold’s meetings with Osama el- Baz, greatly aided the success of the visit. The visit, which was supposed to have been held in Alexandria, was moved to Cairo, where it was held with all due ceremony.

During his meetings in Cairo, the Prime Minister presented the Israeli government’s positions and views regarding the political process. During their meeting, the Prime Minister and President Mubarak formed a good personal connection. Other topics covered included strengthening cooperation, primarily in the economic sphere, with emphasis on various energy projects.

During his meeting with President Mubarak, the Prime Minister reiterated Israel’s commitments to the agreements signed with the Palestinians and stated the need for the Palestinian Authority also to uphold all of its commitments, first and foremost in the security sphere and regarding Jerusalem.

The Prime Minister updated President Mubarak on the easing of the closure and delivered a letter from President Weizman, in which the President informed President Mubarak about the release of female Palestinian prisoners.

The Defense Minister noted that the Prime Minister’s visit eased tensions among senior figures in the Palestinian public.

2. The cabinet decided to establish a ministerial committee to examine the other legal implications of the High Court of Justice’s ruling regarding conversion. The committee will include the Justice Minister (chairman), the Transportation Minister, the Interior Minister, the Immigrant Absorption Minister, the Health Minister and the Communications Minister.

3. The cabinet approved the appointment of Kochav Avraham as director- general of the Ministry of Public Security.

4. The cabinet decided that the Interior Minister, in coordination with other relevant ministers, would put together a staff paper and recommendations in advance of a cabinet discussion on the subject of foreign workers in Israel.