Jerusalem, 26 July 1998

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday) 26.7.98:

1. The Prime Minister said that Israel is prepared to complete the negotiations on the Interim Agreement, emphasizing that Israel has not deviated from its positions or given up its demands including its position that the Palestinians must abrogate the Palestinian charter through a decision of the PNC.

The Prime Minister emphasized that Public Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani’s meeting with the Palestinian Authority Chairman had been fully coordinated with him in advance; the meeting was held not for the sake of conducting negotiations, but only to present positions.

The Public Security Minister noted, in this regard, that he has placed his full confidence in the negotiations being conducted by the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister adding that he told the Palestinian Authority Chairman that the current Israeli government is the only one capable of reaching a settlement with the Palestinians, and that nobody should deceive himself about the possibility of its collapse.

The Prime Minister added that the Palestinians are aware of Israel’s positions, which are clear and solid, and that the message relayed by the Public Security Minister is an important one. The Prime Minister asked other Cabinet ministers to refrain from holding contacts with the Palestinians in the absence of prior coordination with him and the Defense Minister. The negotiations are continuing in a concentrated fashion, under the guidance of the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister, and are expected to resume in the coming days.

2. The Cabinet approved a series of agreements an agreement with Croatia on the cancellation of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic passports; an agreement with Hong Kong on air transport, and an agreement with the Czech Republic on mutual customs assistance.

3. The Cabinet approved two proposed laws the Currency Supervision

(Amendment No. 3) Bill, 1998, and the Joint Investments in Trusts

(Amendment) Bill, 1998.