FM David Levy Meets Egyptian Peace Movement Delegation

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
21 December 1999

Foreign Minister David Levy yesterday (Tuesday) 21.12.99, met with the leaders of the Egyptian Peace Movement which was founded in order to promote relations between the Israeli and Egyptian peoples. This is the first time that the movement has met with an Israeli government minister.

Foreign Minister Levy spoke about bilateral Egyptian-Israeli relations, the peace process in general, the resumption of negotiations with Syria and Egypts concern that the Palestinian track has been pushed into the sidelines. We have a serious commitment to the process with the Palestinians, and nobody would consider abandoning it for a moment. Despite the difficulties, everything is being done so that a permanent agreement can be reached in 2000. This is a critical period, but one full of great possibilities. When both sides realize that there is no alternative, there will be an honest and genuine effort to advance the peace process, he said.

Regarding the resumption of negotiations with Syria, Foreign Minister Levy expressed the hope that a framework agreement on principles will be signed at the next meeting. He added, Even the greatest statesman could not have created and designed the conditions that led to the meeting. Sometimes, time itself creates a fabric whose patterns are so unique for the moment that it is wise to seize the opportunity. He emphasized that, following the previous meeting, both sides want to avoid disappointment.

Foreign Minister Levy also spoke of the need to bring nations closer. The language of peace is necessary in order to bring nations closer. Agreements signed between leaders are not enough, he said. He also noted the importance of economic and commercial cooperation with Egypt.