8 February 1998

DEFENSE MINISTER MEETS US SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

(Communicated by Defense Ministry Media Adviser)

Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai this morning (Sun.) 08.02.98, in Munich, Germany, met with U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen for a working meeting to discuss issues connected to regional tension.

The two exchanged opinions regarding possibilities concerning Iraq. This consultation is part of the general American effort to update all of its allies and friends regarding the efforts to bring Iraq to carry out United Nations decisions to return the credibility of UNSCOM.

Secretary Cohen informed Mordechai of the United State’s policies to aggressively continue attempting to exhaust every possible diplomatic effort in order to solve the problem. The two emphasized the importance of joint consultations regarding possible developments in the Gulf.

The Minister’s media advisor said that the American Secretary of Defense reiterated and made clear to Minister Mordechai the deep and long-term commitments the United States has for the security and defense of Israel.

Mordechai thanked the Secretary for the assistance that the United States has rendered for Israel’s defensive needs.

Before meeting Secretary Cohen, Minister Mordechai met Germany’s Defense Minister to discuss the Gulf situation. Mordechai thanked his German counterpart for the aid of tens of thousands of gas masks that the German government has provided to the State of Israel.

The Defense Minister will return to Israel tonight.