Jerusalem, December 18, 2003

FM Silvan Shalom meets with
Bosnia-Herzegovina FM Mladen Ivanic

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Silvan Shalom met today (December 18, 2003) with his colleague Dr. Mladen Ivanic, the foreign minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina. FM Shalom said during the meeting that the Government of Israelis willing to meet withPalestinian Authority officials,and is waiting fora meeting between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei.

FM Shalom explained that in parallel to renewing talks with the Palestinians, Israel will advance a positive agenda for the Palestinians. He presented this agendain Rome at the Donor Conference last week wherehe encouragedcountries to continue working in the territoriesto benefit the Palestinian people. "We have no problem with the Palestinian people, just with the leadership," FM Shalom said.

FM Shalom added that Israel is waiting to advance the Road Map with no preconditions. He also said that Israel is very pleased bythe warming of relations with Egypt. He noted thatthe upcoming visit of Egyptian FM Ahmed Maher to Israel followshis meeting with Egyptian President Husni Mubarak in Geneva and a subsequent phone conversation between Mubarak and PM Sharon."The Egyptian contribution has been a positive one, but it must extend beyond reaching a cease-fire to renewing negotiations, dismantling the infrastructure of terrorism and implementation of the Road Map," FM Shalom said.