Jerusalem 31 August 1997

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by Cabinet Secretary)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 31, 8,97:

1. The Defense Minister briefed the Cabinet on the situations in Lebanon and the territories. The Director of the GSS also briefed the cabinet.

2. The Prime Minister expressed the government’s condolences to the families of the soldiers who were killed in the disaster in Lebanon, and wished the wounded a speedy recovery.

3. The Prime Minister briefed the Cabinet on his talks with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The Prime Minister noted that Israel’s basic demand is that the Palestinian Authority fulfill its commitments, first and foremost, in security matters, especially in the war against terrorism, which has still not been done by the Palestinian Authority.

The Prime Minister denied the report that attorney Yitzhak Molcho had formulated a secret proposal regarding Har Homa and settlements.

4. The Prime Minister told the cabinet that the government has sent its condolences to the British Royal Family and people regarding the death of Princess Diana. In a published statement, the government said: "Israeli citizens, like people from all over the world, are shocked by the loss of this noble woman who was magnanimous and generous in her efforts to help the world’s children,"

5. The Cabinet approved the composition of the Israeli delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. The delegation will be headed by Foreign Minister David Levy. His deputy will be UN Ambassador to Dr. Dore Gold.

6. The Cabinet approved an agreement with Uzbekistan on cooperation in the areas of culture, science and education.

7. The Cabinet approved an agreement with Moldova on the waiving of visa requirements for those holding diplomatic passports.

8. The Cabinet approved the appointment of Mr. Asher Ohana to the post of Director-General of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

9. The Cabinet approved the appointment of Interior Minister Eli Suissa as a member of the council on the appointment of Jewish religious judges, and the council on the appointment of Muslim religious judges.

10. The Public Security and Communications ministers raised the issue of the "Yemenite children." The Prime Minister agreed that the issue would be discussed at an upcoming Cabinet meeting.

11. The Minister of Trade and Industry briefed the Cabinet on the opening of "Quality Week." He stressed that this is the first time that a quality index will be published in Israel, under the auspices of the "Standards Institute."

12. The cabinet authorized the Ministry of Transportation to coordinate the joint Israel-Jordan Eilat-Aqaba airport project.

Implementation of the project will begin after the pertinent legal matters have been settled.

In an experimental and temporary framework, incoming and outgoing flights will use the runways and facilities at Aqaba airport starting next month, in accordance with agreements reached with the Kingdom of Jordan.

The Minister of Transportation will brief the cabinet on the project’s progress.