Foreign Ministry Response to European Commission Document

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
January 19, 1998

The Foreign Ministry spokesman yesterday (Sunday), 18.1.98, said in response to journalists’ questions:

We received the document of the European Commission. It is a detailed, 23-page document, and we are studying it in depth. From a first reading, it is our impression that appropriate reference was not made to the efforts that Israel has recently invested in improving the Palestinian economy and the practical steps that it has taken in this regard.

Israel welcomes the helpful role that Europe has played thus far and the aid that it has extended to the Palestinian Authority.

We view the strengthening of the Palestinian economy as an important element in the peace process, and accordingly, we encourage Europe to continue in its efforts.

Regarding bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel believes that the existing frameworks are adequate to meet the current needs.