Jerusalem, 4 May 1997

ISRAEL AND TURKEY CONDUCT STRATEGIC DIALOGUE

(Communicated by Defense Ministry Spokesman)

The second strategic dialogue between Israel and Turkey is currently being held in Israel (3-6.5.97). This meeting follows the first dialogue held in Ankara, Turkey.

The strategic dialogue represents an additional foundation in the process of deepening defense and military relations between Israel and Turkey. It was preceded by a series of visits and defense-related meetings which led to a mutual agreement on aerial training, a joint training program, visits and military activities, an industrial agreement and a series of projects and contacts in the sphere of foreign defense assistance.

The Israeli delegation to the dialogue meeting is headed by the senior assistant to the defense ministry, David Ivry. The Turkish side is led by deputy chief of general staff General Cevik Bir. The Israeli military group is led by the assistant head of Operations Branch, Maj.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.

General Bir will meet for talks with Defense Ministry Yitzhak Mordechai, Mr. Ivry, the director general of the Defense Ministry, the IDF chief of staff, the deputy chief of staff, the head of Military Intelligence, and will visit defense industries and IDF bases.

The meeting will be held in two parts: on the first day there will be a plenary session and on the second there will be a meeting of two work groups (politico-military and military and industrial).

On the first day, Mr. Ivry will will hold separate meetings (some with the participation of the deputy head of Operations Branch) with the senior military and defense representatives from Turkey.