Visa Exemption Agreement for Residents of Israel and Hong Kong

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

Foreign Ministry Director-General Eitan Ben-Tzur and Chinese Ambassador to Israel, Wang Changyi, took part in a ceremonial exchange of letters today (Monday), 30.6.97, at the Foreign Ministry. The letters exempt Hong Kong residents visiting Israel, and Israeli citizens visiting Hong Kong, from the need for a visa.

Israel extends its exemption of visa requirements to all Hong Kong citizens holding British passports visiting Israel. The exemption will also apply to Israeli citizens visiting Hong Kong.

With the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty, it has been decided to continue the granting of visa-exemptions to persons holding the new passports of the "Hong Kong Special Administrative Area."

Israel considers the continuation of the mutual exemption important, as a necessary aspect of economic and tourism-related contacts with Hong Kong, as an expression of our confidence in, and obligations to, the future of Hong Kong, and as a signal to China — as this historic event takes place this evening.