FM Levy Meets with Former Philippine President Ramos

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
20 July 1999

At their meeting yesterday (Monday), 19.7.99, former Philippine President Fidel Ramos presented to Foreign Minister David Levy a letter of friendship, peace and continued cooperation from Philippine President Joseph Estrada to Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Ramos, who is visiting Israel as head of the largest economic delegation ever to visit Israel from Southeast Asia, was briefed by Foreign Minister Levy on the efforts by the Israeli government to advance the peace process and on the economic potential of cooperation between the two countries.

FM Levy emphasized that economic cooperation is an vital factor in promoting the peace process. Ramos has personal experience in negotiating peace between his government and various organizations in the Philippines. He and Levy agreed that a peace process without economic development would not succeed.

FM Levy noted Israel’s demand that the Palestinians fulfill their commitments in accordance with the agreements that they have signed. Regarding Syria, he noted that if Syrian willingness for peace is in line with statements coming out of Damascus — then there is hope for peace. As for regional developments, Levy said that "Israel is trying to differentiate between those who want peace and those who do not. The Barak government, which received wide public support, is prepared to assume calculated risks for the sake of peace."