President Katsav appeals to French, Spanish and Russian Heads of State on behalf of Israeli abductees and their families

Jerusalem, 6 May 2001

(Communicated by President Katsav’s Spokeswoman)

President Moshe Katsav’s military adjutant, Brig.-Gen. Shimon Hefetz, this morning (Sunday), 6.5.2001, briefed the families of the abducted Israelis in Lebanon on the letters that President Katsav sent last week to Spanish King Juan Carlos I, French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin, respectively, regarding the abducted Israelis.

In his letter, President Katsav requested that French President Chirac act on the abductees issue ahead of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s visit to France, and that Spanish King Juan Carlos I act on their behalf ahead of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s visit to Spain. President Katsav asked that President Chirac and King Juan Carlos I persuade their visitors to enable Red Cross representatives to visit the abductees forthwith.

President Katsav similarly appealed to Russian President Putin to use his influence with Syrian and Lebanese leaders.

President Katsav emphasized that his request is on humanitarian grounds and that its goal is to ease the distress of the abductees’ families. The families are very concerned for their loved ones whom they have not heard from since their abduction in October of last year in contravention of all human norms and basic rules of behavior.

President Katsav will continue to do his utmost on behalf of the abductees and their families.