Jerusalem, July 29, 2003

FM Shalom Meeting with Ambassadors of Asia and the Pacific
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met today (July 29) at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem with the ambassadors of Asian and Pacific countries, serving in Israel.

The Minister presented the ambassadors with an update on developments in the political process, and reviewed the steps taken by Israel. Foreign Minister Shalom also called on the Asian countries that have had long-standing ties with the Palestinians to exert pressure on the Palestinian Authority to end terrorism and violence. He also referred to the importance of action by these states to prevent and remove anti-Israel resolutions at international forums.

Foreign Minister Shalom added that Israel attaches importance to the promotion of its relations with a continent which contains 60 per cent of the world ‘s population and which accounts for a third of the world economy. Asia is a significant market for Israeli exports – particularly, in the realm of technology. In the past year, Israeli exports to Asia totaled $4.5 billion. Israel shares its experience and know-how with many Asian countries in the various spheres of development, such as agriculture, regional development, the environment and social development.

The ambassadors conveyed their appreciation for the meeting, and expressed an interest in the relations between Israel and Asia, as well as the address by Foreign Minister Shalom on developments in the political process.