(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry spokesman)

Mr. Aharon Abramovitch, Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, currently in China on a 4-day official visit, met today (Tuesday, 26-June-2007) with Mr. Yang Jiechi, China’s recently appointed Foreign Minister. The two discussed the state of Chinese-Israeli bilateral relations and the situation in the Middle East. They both expressed their commitment to the continued strengthening of the relationship, and D.G. Abramovitch detailed the importance of the relationship to the State of Israel. Also discussed was the visit of FM Livni to China, due to take place later this year.

With regard to the Iranian question, D.G. Abramovitch described the Iranian danger, not only to Israel but to the entire world, and called on China to wield its influence to help reach a diplomatic solution.

Director-General Abramovitch emphasized Israel’s willingness to work with Mahmoud Abbas to create the conditions necessary for progress. FM Jiechi expressed his support of the renewed dialogue with the Palestinians.

The D.G. also briefed senior Chinese Middle East specialists and commentators on Israel’s policy positions, including Iran’s nuclear development program, the situation in the Palestinian Authority and the strengthening of the Hamas.

Yesterday, the Director-General met with Mr. Zai Jun, Assistant Foreign Minister for the Middle East, and held a lengthy discussion regarding mutual policy issues.

The Director-General took the opportunity to visit two of the most important Israeli projects currently underway in China. D.G. Abramovitch, together with Ambassador Yehoyada Haim, delivered a donation of school bags and training suits to the elementary school in the Chinese village adopted last year by the Israeli mission. The Director-General also visited the Israeli-developed demonstration dairy production facility developed, the most successful dairy production facility in China. The facility attracts many visitors every year, curious to see for themselves how regular Chinese cows can produce such a large quantity of milk. On his visit at the beginning of the year, PM Olmert laid the cornerstone for the Kashrut center at the facility.

D.G. Abramovitch left Beijing for Shanghai, for further rounds of discussions on economic issues.