Jerusalem, June 24, 2003

MFA Director General to visit South Africa
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Mr. Yoav Biran, the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will depart today (24 June) for South Africa for a working visit that will focus upon the political dialogue between the two countries. Deputy Director General for Africa, Ms. Miriam Ziv, will be accompanying Mr. Biran.

In the course of the visit, the Israeli Director General will hold discussions on political issues with Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad and senior officials of the South African Foreign Ministry. He will also brief the Parliaments Committee for Foreign Affairs on the latest developments in the Middle East, and meet with other government officials.

The purpose of Mr. Birans visit is to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two states and to improve coordination with the local government. Israel and South Africa have extensive economic ties.

South Africa is an important nation on the African continent, and in the past year has headed the Organization of Unaligned States as well as the African Union, an umbrella organization uniting all of the African states.