|FM Levy Meets with French FM Vedrine|
(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
Foreign Minister David Levy met today (Thursday), 7.10.99, in his Jerusalem office, with French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine.
Foreign Minister Levy raised the issue of Israel’s joining the European regional group at the UN and emphasized that Israel is the only member-state that does not belong to any regional group.
Foreign Minister Levy briefed his French counterpart on the latest developments in the peace process with the Palestinians prior to the discussions on a framework for the permanent settlement, which is due to be concluded by the end of next year. He noted the difficulties involved in resuming talks with the Syrians and the efforts being made to this end. The two men similarly discussed the Lebanese issue, the regional threats posed by Iraq and Iran and the multilateral talks. Regarding the latter, Foreign Minister Levy emphasized that they are designed to give tangible expression to the benefits of the peace process, especially for our Arab interlocutors. The refusal of certain elements to facilitate progress on this channel is raising doubts in Israel regarding the character of the expected peace.
Foreign Ministers Levy and Vedrine also discussed bilateral relations; the former defined today’s meeting as a step up in Israeli-French relations. The two men agreed that their teams would discuss various issues of common interest as well as ways in which to increase cooperation between the two foreign ministries. French Foreign Minister Vedrine invited Foreign Minister Levy to visit France.