Jerusalem, 11 March 1996

TURKISH PRESIDENT VISITS ISRAEL

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Turkish President Suleyman Demirel arrives today (Monday), 11.3.96 for a four-day visit to Israel. In the course of his visit, he will meet with the President Weizman, Prime Minister Peres, Foreign Minister Barak, and will sign four economic agreements. Demirel will also visit Yad Vashem, the Temple Mount and will address the Knesset.

This visit constitutes an important milestone in relations between Israel and Turkey in recent years, especially since the start of the Oslo process.

Demirel arrives with a delegation of some 200, including members of Parliament, university heads, about 70 business people, the foreign minister and the official head of Islam in Turkey, Mr. Nuri Yelmezo.

The scope of trade between Israel and Turkey rose in 1995 to nearly double that of the previous year, reaching about $450 million. Most of the trade with Turkey is the spheres of chemicals and minerals, for use in industry and agriculture. During the visit, agreements will be signed to encourage and protect investments, an agreement for economic cooperation, an agreement to prevent double taxation, and an agreement to establish a free trade area.