Jerusalem, March 4, 1998

DM MORDECHAI TO FRANCE AND NETHERLANDS

(Communicated by Defense Minister’s Media Adviser)

Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai will, tomorrow night (Thursday), 5.3.98, leave for a four-day visit to France and the Netherlands, where he will meet with senior political and defense officials. In France, Mordechai will also meet with members of the Jewish community.

With his hosts in both France and the Netherlands, Mordechai will conduct strategic situation assessments vis-a-vis the Middle East and the peace process, the development of regional non-conventional threats, and ways to strengthen and expand Israel’s security and military ties with both countries.

In France, the Defense Minister is scheduled to hold working meetings with his counterpart, Defense Minister Alain Richard, and with French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine. He will also attend a large ground forces exercise, and meet with French Jewish community leaders and top contributors of the Association for the Welfare of Soldiers in Israel.

Mordechai will be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at a festive evening organized by the Keren Or association in France where thousands of French Jews will come together for a salute to the IDF, in honor of Israel’s 50th anniversary. Accompanying Defense Minister Mordechai to France will be a group of six IDF lieutenant-colonels, who will represent various branches of the IDF at the event.

On Monday, 9.3.98, in The Hague, Defense Minister Mordechai will meet with Dutch Prime Minister Willem Kok and Defense Minister Dr. Voorhoeve. Mordechai will also meet for a discussion with members of the Dutch parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense committees. In the Dutch capital, he will offer the thanks of the Israeli government and defense establishment for the assistance which the Netherlands extended to the Defense Ministry during the recent Persian Gulf crisis.