July 22, 2003

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom meets with
US Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge

(Washington, DC – July 22, 2003)

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met today (Tuesday, July 22) in Washington, DC, with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Their discussion focussed upon the issue of bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

Secretary Ridge reiterated the US demands from Iran and Syria regarding ending their support for terrorism, as expressed by President George W. Bush.

Foreign Minister Shalom stressed the strategic threat posed by states that support terrorism, such as Iran and Syria, which threaten the stability of the entire Middle East.

Shalom raised the issue of the long wait endured by Israelis applying for visas to the US. He emphasized that Israel, despite being an ally of the United States, finds its citizens twice penalized by the existing situation: first as victims of terrorism and second by the long and complex visa process.