Israel’s decision is based on the friendly state of bilateral relations with Turkey, as well as on the potential for regional development.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni spoke by telephone with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan (17 March 2008) and informed him that Israel has decided to support holding the 2015 Universal Expo in the Turkish city of Izmir. She cited Turkey’s friendship and expressed the hope that Israel’s decision would lead to a further deepening of the good ties between the two countries.

Turkish Minister Babacan thanked Minister Livni for the good news and expressed his appreciation for her support. He pointed out that if Izmir is selected, it would be the first time that an Expo exhibit would be held in the region.

Israel’s decision is based on the friendly state of bilateral relations and mutual understanding, as well as on the potential for regional development.

If Izmir is selected, it will also be the first time that an Islamic country hosts this important exhibition; Israel views this as a message of tolerance and openness. Israel hopes that Israeli companies will be involved in this giant project, thus advancing bilateral economic and commercial relations.