The MFA, the Israel Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport  and the European Space Agency begin negotiations on a framework agreement that will enable Israeli integration into the European civilian space program

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Teams from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Science, Culture and Sport and the European Space Agency began negotiations on Tuesday, 16th October, aimed at formulating a framework agreement that will enable Israeli-European cooperation on civilian space programs.

Initial talks with the delegation of the Europe Space Agency representatives, who visited Israel for this purpose, took place at the offices of the Israel Space Agency.

The Director-General of the Israel Space Agency, Dr. Tzvi Kaplan, headed the Israeli negotiating team, which consisted of representatives of the MFA’s Economic Affairs Division  and the Division for Cultural & Scientific Affairs, MFA representatives from the embassy in Paris and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport’s Legal Divisions.

The negotiations were initiated due to the favorable response of Mr. Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director–General of the European Space Agency to a request made by Israel’s Minister of Science, Culture and Sport, Mr. Raleb Majadele.

The agreement is intended to integrate Israel’s research institutions and space industry into the civilian space programs headed by the European Space Agency in a variety of issues such as satellite communications, monitoring and observation of earth, prevention of natural catastrophes, research in the fields of life sciences and material science, astronomy and other subjects.

The European Space Agency was established in 1975. Currently, it incorporates 17 countries and is the leading regional civil space agency in the world.

The meetings were held in a friendly and constructive atmosphere, and both sides expressed their desire and their willingness to finish the negotiations swiftly. The two teams expect to sign the framework agreement during the first half of 2008, and look forward to implementing joint projects.