FM Levy Meets Delegations from China and Turkey

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
June 2, 1997

Foreign Minister David Levy today, Monday, 2.6.97, met with two parliamentary delegations — one from the Peoples Republic of China and the second a group of Islamic parliamentarians from Turkey.

During the meeting with the delegation from China’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the committee’s Deputy Chairman promised Foreign Minister Levy that China’s security cooperation with Iran is only within the area of conventional weapons and that China does not cooperate in strategic missile or unconventional weapons. In addition, the Deputy Chairman noted interest in joint consultations at the highest level (China’s Vice-Premier and Israel’s Foreign Minister) to advance the promotion of agricultural projects and the fight against desertification.

Foreign Minister Levy expressed his appreciation to the Chinese people and his feeling of satisfaction "that this small people" is proud that it has an ally such as China that is according to him a combination of a strong internal ideology and an open attitute towards foreigners. Minister Levy also dealt with the change in Iran and expressed hope that current anti- peace policies will metamorphasize with the change that has occurred there.

During the meeting with Islamic members of Turkey’s Parliament, Foreign Minister Levy spoke about his successful and beneficial visit to Turkey, noting the joint democratic values which represent the basis for furthering relations. During his visit with Turkey’s Prime Minister, Minister Levy was happy to hear that religious beliefs could be a bridge between peoples and a source for further closeness.

Minister Levy reviewed the current state of the peace process and its difficulties and spoke about the need to protect Israel’s strength which serves as an overwhelming source for preventing war. Only from a position of strength were the sides encouraged to come to negotiate with us, he noted.

The head of the Turkish delegation Demil Tzizik, of the "Homeland" Party, emphasized that Turkey is not prejudiced in the international arena and the Middle East. Israel and Turkey are the only two countries in the region holding similar values and both countries enjoy many joint interests including the views they hold on the importance of fighting terrorism. Both sides have a political wish to promote relations, and trade statistics speak for themselves. There is no doubt, he said, that after his visit of one day, he will return to Turkey with positive impressions.