MASHAV Cooperation with CIS and East European Countries

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
November 30, 1997

In his opening statement to the MASHAV (Center for International Cooperation of the Israel Foreign Ministry) Seminar on Israeli activities and cooperation with Russia, CIS countries and Eastern Europe, Foreign Ministry Director General Eytan Bentsur stated: "Cooperation with CIS and Eastern European countries constitutes a cornerstone of Israel’s foreign policy."

This was the second MASHAV Regional Seminar, and its was attended by the ambassadors of Russia, Latvia, Khazakstan, Yugoslavia, Romania and Slovakia, as well as senior diplomats from the embassies of the Ukraine, Hungary, the USA and Poland. Members of Knesset Ephraim Sneh and Yuli Stern were also in attendance, together with professionals and experts in the field.

The goal of the seminar was to assess and analyse MASHAV operations and procedures, and the degree to which they address the changing political and economic conditions and circumstances of the CIS and Eastern Europe.

In closing, Mr. Bentsur extended thanks to the US administration for its generous and substantial support of the MASHAV program in this region, and noted the contribution of the Dutch Government to MASHAV’s training programs. In addition, the Director General welcomed the strengthening of ties between Israel and both the UNDP and the World Bank, and called upon other international aid organizations to contribute to similar projects.

Foreign Ministry Deputy Director for MASHAV, Mr. Haim Divon added that the expansion of activities was also a result of the addition of courses held in Russian in such relevant subjects as Pension Fund Management, Agricultural Management and Entrepreneurship, Professional Agricultural Subjects, Labor Unions in a Market Economy, Non-Government Organizations in the Demoractic Society, and Educational Technology.

Divon added that in the course of 1996, about 800 trainees from the CIS and Eastern Europe participated in courses in Israel, and he expects a similar number in 1997. In the last five years, over 3000 trainees from these areas studied in Israel.