Jerusalem, 27 October 1997


(Communicated by Defense Ministry Media Advisor)

Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai met today (Monday) 27.10.97, with Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov, in Jerusalem.

Mordechai told Primakov at their two hour meeting that "The Jewish and Russian peoples together suffered from the Nazi animal during the Second World War. Now, I ask from you that together we do everything possible so as not to create another such threat neither in our region, nor in the whole world."

The Head of Military Intelligence, Major-General Ya’alon, the Defense Minister’s senior aide, David Ivri and Defense Ministry Director-General Ilan Biran and other senior Defense Ministry and intelligence service officials participated alongside the Defense Minister.

At the start of the meeting, the Defense Minister thanked Foreign Minister Primakov for Russia’s contributions in founding the State of Israel and establishing its security, and later for allowing Jews to immigrate to Israel from the former Soviet Union.

Most of their meeting concentrated on the issue of Russian aid to Iran to develop long-range ballistic missiles and other non-conventional weapons systems. The Defense Minister told the Foreign Minister that Israel faces many threats in the region, but now Israel is particularly concerned by the developing Iranian threat that could become a threat to the existence of the state. During the meeting, the defense Minister asked the head of Military Intelligence to detail to Foreign Minister Primakov the information held by Israel and other intelligence services regarding Russian aid to Iran.

The visiting minister promised that his government would examine the new issues that had been presented to him.

The Defense Minister said that he would be pleased to host his Russian counterpart soon, and to visit Russia in the future.