FM David Levy Meets Czech FM Jan Kavan

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
July 16, 2000

Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister David Levy hosted a luncheon in Jerusalem today in honor of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Jan Kavan.

Lebanon:

After briefing his guest on the latest developments in the region, Levy stated that he has reason to believe that the Lebanese Government is about to deploy troops in the South, thus fulfilling its obligations under Resolution 425 of the UN Security Council. This follows the UN’s determination that Israel has fulfilled all of its obligations under the same resolution. "We may be at the dawn of a new era in which every state will fulfill its responsibilities," Levy added.

Palestinians:

As for the talks with the Palestinians, Minister Levy said that it seems that Israel’s negotiating partners have not yet internalized the need for compromises on their side as well. Levy pointed out that the rhetorical style in which the Palestinian leaders express themselves to their people is not consistent with the language of peace. He added that it is unacceptable that, at even while the peace process is going on, the Palestinians continue to pursue anti-Israel policies in their international diplomatic relations. Levy noted that in the preliminary talks there was evidently more wishful thinking than real progress. "As long as the Palestinians think that they can achieve peace by subduing Israel, there will not be an agreement," Levy said.

Iran:

The ministers also discussed the subject of the growing threat from Iran and the harsh sentences handed down to the ten Iranian Jews for offenses which they did not commit.

Bilateral Relations:

Concerning Israeli-Czech relations, both ministers emphasized that relations between the two countries are good and developing in all areas. Levy and Kavan praised the aid which the Czech Republic extended to Israel during the War of Independence and the strong ties between the Czech Republic and its capital Prague and the Jewish people.

They discussed the possibility of advancing the economic ties between the two countries in various ways; for example, increasing Israeli investment in the Czech Republic, and the participation of Czech companies in Israeli tenders and projects in the fields of energy and transportation.

Levy instructed officials in his ministry to intensify activity with the Czech government in these realms, through cooperation between the two foreign ministries and the embassies in the respective capitals.

The two ministers also signed an agreement regarding social security between the Czech Republic and Israel.