Foreign Minister Levy Meets With EU Presidency

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
January 17, 2000

Foreign Minister David Levy met this morning (17/1) with his colleague from Portugal, Mr. Jaima Gama, the President of the EU Council of Foreign Ministers, together with Secretary General Javier Solana, Special Envoy Miguel Moratinos and other Commission officials. In the meeting, Minister Levy briefed the guests about progress on the various tracks of the peace process. The two sides also discussed ways of cooperation between Israel and the EU.

FM Levy said that the negotiations with Syria will renew this week and stressed that success in the talks is dependent on the good will of both sides. He expressed his hope that Lebanon will join the process as well, and added that Israel is determined to leave southern Lebanon even without an agreement.

Levy reported on the progress of the negotiations with the Palestinians and on the implementation of the ‘Sharm’ Memorandum, and said that the future of the peace between the two peoples requires joint cooperation against terrorism and the prevention of incitement and hate. Likewise, Levy briefed the guests on the state of relations with Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco – from which he recently returned.

Minister Gama congratulated Israel on the steps taken in the peace process, and stressed Europe’s desire to assist the process in real terms such as regional development and water. He said that this dialogue is proof of the new phase in EU-Israel relations, which opened in the course of Mr. Levy’s visit to the Council of Ministers in Luxembourg last October.