FM Levy Meets Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Tunisia

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
February 8, 2000

Foreign Minister David Levy met yesterday (7/2) with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, Tahar Sioud, in the first visit of a high ranking official from that country.

Foreign Minister Levy updated his colleague on recent developments in the peace process, including those in the Palestinian track. Levy praised the upcoming meeting of the Working Group on the Environment which will take place in Tunisia in May, as was agreed upon with the Foreign Minister of Tunisia in last week’s meeting in Moscow of the Steering Committee of the multilateral peace talks.

In yesterday’s meeting it was decided to establish a joint committee for advancing trade and tourism, as well as to renew the talks of the Israeli-Tunisian committee in order to discuss bilateral relations and their expansion into new fields, as had been set out in the 1996 agreement between the two states on opening interest offices.

"We have a complete and unequivocal commitment to the Palestinian track" Foreign Minister Levy stated, adding that "under no circumstances will the process with Syria come at the expense of the peace process with the Palestinians, yet we should not turn every dispute between us and the Palestinians into a crisis. We have conflicting interests, but for this reason negotiations are conducted. We are determined to advance in the direction of peace and arrive at a settlement this year. The process has, and will have, difficulties – our job is to overcome the difficulties and to find solutions. This matter is incumbent on both sides to the same extent".